DrumBeat: March 23, 2007

The Year Without Toilet Paper

DINNER was the usual affair on Thursday night in Apartment 9F in an elegant prewar on Lower Fifth Avenue. There was shredded cabbage with fruit-scrap vinegar; mashed parsnips and yellow carrots with local butter and fresh thyme; a terrific frittata; then homemade yogurt with honey and thyme tea, eaten under the greenish flickering light cast by two beeswax candles and a fluorescent bulb.

A sour odor hovered oh-so-slightly in the air, the faint tang, not wholly unpleasant, that is the mark of the home composter. Isabella Beavan, age 2, staggered around the neo-Modern furniture — the Eames chairs, the brown velvet couch, the Lucite lamps and the steel cafe table upon which dinner was set — her silhouette greatly amplified by her organic cotton diapers in their enormous boiled-wool, snap-front cover.

A visitor avoided the bathroom because she knew she would find no toilet paper there.

Some rethinking nuke opposition

"No Nukes" was once a familiar rallying cry for environmentalists opposed to nuclear power and all its scary risks.

With global warming a rising concern, some environmentalists are rethinking nuclear power because it emits zero greenhouse gases.

"You can't just write nuclear off," says Judi Greenwald, director of innovative solutions with the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, an environmental research and advocacy group. "I think everybody feels you have to at least look again" at nuclear power.

Is Hugo Chávez Mr. Misunderstood?

He roams Latin America, hurling insults at President Bush, sneering at the United States as the enemy "empire" and spending billions in oil money to undermine Washington wherever he can.

To many Americans, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez seems a Latin wild man. But to the millions of Venezuelans who adore him, he is the first leader who genuinely cares for the nation's poor majority, a welcome departure from politicians who traditionally catered to the elite.

How you'll pay for renewable power

Many have wondered if and when renewable energy will be cost-effective.

But when it comes down to your electric bill, the short answer may be: Who cares? The government may make you buy it anyway.

Bill McKibben says we're stuffed

The supply of fossil fuels that has put an end to scarcity in much of the Western world and continues to drive the dizzying economic growth of China and India, McKibben argues, is "a one-time gift." And rather than continue to gorge, we ought to be investing our surplus in figuring out how to live on less.

Peak Oil Passnotes: Market Disconnect 2

If supply and demand were in some kind of balance that just needed leaving alone, we would live in paradise. Unfortunately for neo-classical economists their narrow view of human existence - and the economic theories that emanate from it - fails to take into account people like OPEC, Gordon Brown and the American driver.

Playing With War

Of course CheneyBush are still in favor of the war. They are doctrinaire imperialists, so how could they be otherwise? Their plan was to assemble a staging area within the middle east from which to scourge tinpot regimes throughout the region, exploiting the petroassets of any and all, preparing against that day when "peak oil" was understood to have passed by during 2004. The CheneyBush plan was to "finesse" the civil discord in the region and make as much of a bloodbath of it as the residents could stand. Every dead Arab, in their view, was a dead terrorist or terrorsymp. We can be assured that left to their own

TSR Raises Forecast for Atlantic Hurricane Season

Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), a consortium of experts on insurance, risk management and seasonal climate forecasting led by the Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre at University College London, has increased its forecast for Atlantic hurricane activity in 2007.

Based on current and projected climate signals, TSR's March forecast predicts Atlantic basin and US landfalling hurricane activity to be about 75% above the 1950-2006 norm in 2007, rising from 60% above norm (TSR long-range forecast issued December 2006). This is the highest March forecast for activity in any year since the TSR replicated real-time forecasts started in 1984.

The elasticity of oil production and consumption

Classical economists still insist higher prices will bring out increased production sufficient to give us the oil we humans need.

Opec will meet global oil demands: president

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries yesterday tried to soften global concerns about decreasing oil supplies, saying it was committed to providing enough for world consumption.

“Opec is committed to ensure steady, secure supplies of crude oil to all consumers at affordable prices both now and in the future,” the group’s president Mohammed al-Hamili said here.

US experts seek India, China entry in global energy system

Three US experts have suggested bringing the emerging major oil consumers, such as India and China, into the global energy system as a key diplomatic strategy to secure the stability of American oil supply.

Report to feds on oil shale development due this month

A federal task force mandated to recommend to Congress and President George W. Bush how the government can accelerate the development of oil shale and tar sands may have its report ready by the end of the month, a U.S. Department of Energy official said this week.

Rahall Pans Effort to Extend Gulf Leases to Recoup Lost Royalties

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) said the proposal floated by the Interior Department in the Senate is not strong enough to get companies to play ball. "I think we ought to be more forceful," Rahall said in an interview yesterday. "We ought to be more demanding of what the taxpayers are owed."

Kurdish oil move could signal start of Iraqi energy rush

A scramble for Kurdish oil licences is expected this summer after Ashti Hawrami, the oil minister for Iraq’s Kurdish region, said yesterday that he wants to achieve a production goal of one million barrels a day by 2012.

The Kurdish move signals that Iraq is poised to open its doors to foreign oil investment.

Venezuela's PDVSA to begin US$5 billion (€3.75 billion) bond offer next week

The upcoming bond issue comes amid speculation by some industry analysts that PDVSA, despite soaring revenues from high oil prices, is facing a cash flow problem and turning to the financial markets for capital.

Greenhouse-friendly Airbus to halve its fuel use by 2020

Airbus vice-president, environmental affairs, Philippe de Saint-Aulaire, said the manufacturer was looking at airframe improvements to provide about 25 per cent of the reduction, while between 10 and 15 per cent would come from engine manufacturers.

"The remainder, about 10 per cent, will come from air traffic control - to ensure there are more direct flights, to ensure that aircraft are not (circling) around the airport before they land," he said.

Seoul seeks to widen economic ties with Middle East to IT sector

Amid rising oil prices, the president's trip is also expected to provide an opportunity to expand South Korea's practical partnership with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in the fields of energy resources, infrastructure construction, defense industry and information technology, the aides said.

‘Africa must set alternative energy agenda’

Many of the plans being considered by African governments, including huge hydropower dams and fossil fuel plants, were simply “more of the same”, UN Environment Programme executive director Achim Steiner told a development conference in Kenya.

Many would be able to supply the huge appetite of industry and city dwellers on the world’s poorest continent, he said, but they would “lock in” the rural majority to decades without power.

The car of tomorrow is here today

Before joining the staff of the Union of Concerned Scientists, I worked as a consultant for the major automakers, so I know first-hand that they can do better. Working with other UCS vehicle experts, I recently designed a "virtual" vehicle that combines a number of pollution-cutting technologies under one hood. Our blueprint, which we call the Vanguard, is not a hybrid. It doesn't use fuel cells. It merely puts together conventional off-the-shelf technologies that can already be found piecemeal in more than 100 vehicles on the road today. Installing these technologies in everything from two-seaters to SUVs could cut their global-warming pollution by as much as 40 percent. Adopting the Vanguard "package" in California alone would be the equivalent of taking 19 million of today's vehicles off the road.

Nevada lawmakers hear good news from solar, geothermal power companies

Nevada is making steady progress toward becoming a national leader in solar and geothermal energy, state lawmakers were told Thursday.

China's Hu heads to Russia urgently seeking fuel

Chinese President Hu Jintao goes to Moscow on Monday, confidently offering trade deals with an economy roaring back home, but urgently seeking oil, gas and assurance as the two countries eye each other's resurgent power.

Hu's three-day state visit to Russia will be his third as president, showing how seriously Beijing is courting its neighbor and President Vladimir Putin. Above all, Russia has the energy supplies China needs to fuel its growth.

U.S. Congressional Research Service: Ethanol and biofuels

Issues facing the U.S. biofuels industry include potential agricultural "feedstock" supplies, and the associated market and environmental effects of a major shift in U.S. agricultural production; the energy supply needed to grow feedstocks and process them into fuel; and barriers to expanded infrastructure needed to deliver more and more biofuels to the market. This report outlines some of the current supply issues facing biofuels industries, including the limitations on agricultural feedstocks, infrastructure constraints, energy supply for biofuel production, and fuel price uncertainties.

The Deception Behind Oil's Future

Oil prices over the next ten years are going to alter the way our world operates. Peak oil is the reason. Oil companies may denounce peak oil as a "myth," but in a few short years they'll have nothing more to hide behind.

Analyst: Labor Hunt Will Drive Offshore Driller Consolidation

A growing labor shortage in the offshore drilling industry will be a major driver behind any consolidation that might occur, Raymond James & Associates analyst J. Marshall Adkins said Thursday.

GM tries to unplug Volt hype

The Volt grabbed headlines, lit up online chat boards and dominated the buzz at the auto show in Detroit.

There's just one problem: The Volt may never get built.

Production depends on advances in battery technology that could be years away. The uncertainty led to intense debate within GM over whether it was wise to show the Volt in Detroit. And now that the world's waiting for GM to deliver what could be the biggest environmental breakthrough so far this century, company officials are actively trying to temper expectations.

Global Warming Response — Markets or Taxes?

Perhaps the time has finally come to revive yet another radical idea: a carbon tax, which charges anyone who burns fossil fuels for the problems that ensue.

Richard Heinberg: Bridging Peak Oil and Climate Change Activism

The problems of Climate Change and Peak Oil both result from societal dependence on fossil fuels. But just how the impacts of these two problems relate to one another, and how policies to address them should differ or overlap, are questions that have so far not been adequately discussed.

Russia pledges to help Namibia develop nuclear energy

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said this week that his country is ready to help Namibia develop its uranium deposits to generate nuclear energy in the country, Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) radio reported.

Green Electronics – Do They Matter

With concerns growing about global warming and peak oil, squeezing greater efficiencies out of consumer electronics is bound to be a larger issue.

Or is it?

Potential Solutions to Peak Oil Crisis

The potential consequences of peak oil are for now a matter of projection but the early signs can already be seen. Last year's hike in energy prices is just one symptom of fossil fuel scarcity and it is clear that as depletion continues costs for producers and consumers alike will continue their increase.

Mystery of the Missing Meters: Accounting for Iraq's Oil Revenue

Heavily armed soldiers spend their days at the oil terminals scanning the horizon looking for suicide bombers and stray fishing dhows (boats). Meanwhile, right under their noses, smugglers are suspected to be diverting an estimated billions of dollars worth of crude onto tankers because the oil metering system that is supposed monitor how much crude flows into and out of ABOT and KAAOT - has not worked since the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Apocalypse Soon?

A horse and buggy will be more useful than a Hummer after the fall, says UA Professor Guy McPherson.

'Brown playing games on oil'

"Brown is playing games on oil just as he is on income tax. When Brown talks about falls, they are not real falls they are only corrections from his original forecasts," he said.

"Indeed the chancellor is becoming as bad at forecasting oil and gas revenues as he is at estimating the cost of the London Olympics."

EU biodiesel firms blame politicians as demand falls - Politicians blamed for not delivering promised tax relief

Many new biodiesel plants have been built in recent years, but many of them have hardly any markets in which to sell, as several countries have been slow to implement promises to increase biofuel use.

Catholic Bishops Slam Brazil Ethanol Growth Plan

Roman Catholic bishops warned on Thursday that a rapid increase in cane ethanol production in Brazil could have a devastating social and environmental impact in the countryside.

US energy secretary says pipeline could help Iran build bomb

US Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman has called for the planned Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline to be abandoned, saying it could help Iran build nuclear weapons, according to a report on Friday.

"There have been talks among Iran, India and other countries about finding ways of developing Iran's oil and gas assets," Bodman was quoted by the Hindu newspaper as saying.

"If that is allowed to go forward, in our judgment, this will contribute to the development of nuclear weapons," Bodman told reporters, the Hindu said.

"We need to stop this," Bodman said after attending a discussion on "Indo-US Nuclear Cooperation" organised by a business group in Mumbai, India's financial capital.

The rape of Iraq's oil

The Baghdad government has caved in to a damaging plan that will enrich western companies.

ADM: Canadian biofuels could stall on clawback

A Canadian government proposal to claw back biofuel subsidies from profitable processors could backfire and discourage investment in the sector, a vice-president of Archer Daniels Midland said on Wednesday.

Warmer world puts squeeze on U.S. maple syrup

Long skeptical of claims that the planet is warming as a result of human activity -- the release of greenhouse gases through the burning of fossil fuels -- syrup-maker Doug Rose said he's started to wonder.

..."We're seeing production go down, we really are."

Returning as the 'Goracle'

The doors swung open and he made his entrance with cameras clicking, the wooden politician denied the presidency and derided as "Ozone Man" was coming home to the Capitol. But this time they called him a movie star and likened him to a prophet.

Plutonic Warming

Some people think that our planet is suffering from a fever. Now scientists are telling us that Mars is experiencing its own planetary warming: Martian warming. It seems scientists have noticed recently that quite a few planets in our solar system seem to be heating up a bit, including Pluto.

New efforts to predict when polar ice will melt

The loss of sea ice in the Arctic may have reached a "tipping point" that could "trigger a cascade of climate change" reaching much farther south. As Arctic warming accelerates, polar waters could become ice-free by the turn of the century, or, under one scenario, as early as 2040.

As an addendum to yeesterday's HL debate, I thought it looked like several people assumed that Hubbert himself used HL to make his famous prediction, which is not the case. Hubbert used production profiles from many fields and added up all the small curves to get his big curve. HL was invented by Deffeyes, and named "Hubbert Linnearization" bu Stuart Staniford. Strictly speaking, it should be called "Deffeyes Linearization."

After reading the responses in yesterday’s HL thread, I have decided to take a break from TOD. While some people clearly understood what I was doing, I felt that there was far too much aspersion casting, insinuations of dishonesty and cheating, and just generally nasty responses that had absolutely nothing to do with my argument. Some people reacted in far too personal a way. As I am in the middle of a very stressful job (this week has been particularly difficult and hectic), and I have been separated from my family now for 6 weeks (with another 10 weeks to go), I have enough stress in my life without requiring more. At this point, I am dropping the HL thread and won’t be responding to any more comments.

I want to make it very clear that I am not looking for praise, or for people to blindly agree with my conclusions. What I am looking for are some reasoned arguments to the examples I provided, and especially some real examples indicating when the HL would have worked to predict peak, and why the parameters would have identified peak at that time. While there was a fair amount of good discussion, here is a sampling of some of the vitriol directed at me:

“basically garbage”, “keep being unreasonable or start thinking”, “not that interesting”, “not even close to being the right way to critique HL”, “assumption you childischly refuse to mention”, “sad, silly, egotistical”, “pissing contest”, “arrogance, pigheadedness and perhaps even childishness”, “waste of time”, “absurd”, “clumsy and actually self-defeating”, “gross”, “way off base”, “contrived examples”, “get off your high horse”, “re-inventing the wheel”, “junk”, “deceitful”, “unrealistic scenarios”, “let me hand you a clue”, “over the top”, “not very useful”, “cheating”, “vindictive, and spiteful”, “constructed cases where it does not work”, “diatribe”, “obnoxious attempt”, “a guy with an aganda and a axe to grind”, and “quite revealing in an unflatering way”

Admittedly, I do not have thick skin and sometimes I bite back (although I don't bite first). Anyway, I have reached my quota of gratuitous insults for a while. Imagine that after you spent 6 or 8 hours writing an essay - as a volunteer whose purpose here is to promote awareness of peak oil and energy issues - that those were some of the responses you received. Yet this has been a pattern every time I challenge certain arguments.

Deceitful? Cheating? Junk? Some people react as if I had slapped them in the face and they just lash out without attempting an actual rebuttal of any of the arguments. That is why I liken some of these positions to religious faith. If you have staked out a position in which you have on blinders, allowing entrance only to evidence that supports your position, you have the makings of a faith-based position. There are many here who fall into that category, and those are the ones who respond with the most vitriol.

Anyway, hope everyone has a great weekend. I am going to take some time off and re-evaluate what it is that I actually think I can accomplish here, and whether my efforts might be better served doing something else. And please, I am not looking for people to respond with flattery and such. I am in fact as uncomfortable around praise as I am around insults. I would rather just discuss the data.

Enjoy your time away...read some good books...watch the sun go up and down.



Sad to see you off on what I hope is only a TOD sabbatical. FWIW I thought your article on HL was excellent (indeed I was one the few who "Dugg" it) and I was disappointed by some of the responses from people who I would have expected more of, based on their contributions to date on TOD. They know who they are.

I hope we will see you back soon, and certainly no later than the end of summer, by which time I expect answers to have been given regarding Saudi production. For what it's worth, I expect them to ramp up to 9.5 million or so in response to a demand-driven price spike. It will be interesting to see how long they can go at that rate if the price does not drop again. We shall see.

Enjoy your much-deserved break.

Re: That is why I liken some of these positions to religious faith. If you have staked out a position in which you have on blinders, allowing entrance only to evidence that supports your position, you have the makings of a faith-based position. There are many here who fall into that category, and those are the ones who respond with the most vitriol

I think of it as a selection bias which, in turn, supports a faith-based position. When you argue with people about their religion, then you are likely to get called names — or worse. For example, people have been known to nail others up on a cross, if they've got one handy.  

Just my excuse, then. Sorry I was out of line there, I should have thought before writing. I'll think it over, and if I have something clever to add, I'll post that. Next time I'll keep the wordings more courteous! Have a nice weekend!

Uninformed lurker warning.

I've found the posts over the last few weeks really fascinating, though was disappointed with the personal nature of the HL discussion. Have a good break Robert. Seems to me the points to be taken from these discussions are:

HL should not be used to predict URR

HL, with informed guesses on URR, may be used to predict peak

There is no situation which will fit HL perfectly, all curves must be worked to fit available data

We do not know the URR of KSA

The decline in output of KSA, combined with increase in drilling, combined with increase in horizontal and advanced drilling techinques are potentially very worrying

Of course, I'm just a lurker, and not as knowledgeable as most of the posters here. But thanks to the Oil Drum for my understanding as it is.

I think that's an excellent summary.

Just want to extend a note of appreciation for your posts, both the HL post and the prior work on ethanol. Your contributions will be missed.

Best Regards

As a frequent reader and infrequent contributor, I think it's very sad that one of the most distinguished contributors should be subjected to such abuse. Constructive criticism is always valuable but what Robert has quoted above does not fit that definition in any way. I do not blame him for reacting as he has - I would probably do the same myself.

I think it is only appropriate to extend the same thoughts to WT and Dave Cohen. Robert's work was not judged any harsher than the others. When you put yourself out there, you need to expect critics.

First I stand by every statement I made about the post no problem this is a crappy post. It has obvious problems. I've said the same in private and make no apology in public.

Good arguments questioning HL can and have been made this is not one of them.

If personal attacks have been made I'm sorry.

And I'm done with the post.

I didn't read your comments on Robert's "crappy" post. In fact, I didn't even read the post.

Hubbert modelling provides a non-physical view of the oil supply. I've always thought that if one was going to write about the oil & gas business, one should know something about it, including the oil price, which depends on the economics of supply & demand, or various "aboveground" events or factors. Many things can disrupt a Hubbert curve. Never let reality get in the way of a beautiful theory. Furthermore, reserves growth does happen. The US is the best example of that, being the most mature oil province in the world.

There is a problem with assuming a normal distribution (as in Hubbert modelling) for global oil production, which can only follow from a mathematical result called the Central Limit Theorem. Not the least of these problems is what one defines as "oil". Another problem is what one defines as the domain for the analysis in cases where one is dealing with something smaller than the whole Earth. But if one is talking about our happy, little Planet, the factors I talked about in the paragraph just above are paramount.

I was in the habit, when I posted here, of talking about pertinent and important details about the oil & gas business, and mentioning specific fields or trends. That was not (apparently) a popular thing to do, at least with the "regulars" who comment on this site. I could care less.

If you or others insist on carrying out this mediocre, simplistic mathematical analysis, so be it. But, that's all the worse for The Oil Drum, which becomes more marginalized as a result. Try a creaming curve, sometime. Look at how the people whose livelihoods depend on this (in the oil business) do things. Reflecting a bit, this is a civilization in decline. I can always find examples, like much of the discourse on this website, that are "close to home".

"If you or others insist on carrying out this mediocre, simplistic mathematical analysis, so be it. But, that's all the worse for The Oil Drum, which becomes more marginalized as a result. Try a creaming curve, sometime."


Good, relevant points on HL. However, there's an important facet to the issue of HL and modeling that I haven't seen brought up much.

Is TOD an experts-only forum?

What I mean by this is that, if it's only for those with the background to really dig into the geophysics and assorted heavy-duty modeling approaches, than it should be stated as such. From what I gather, many here aren't experts in petrogeology or the operation of an oil company, but are people from many walks of life who are seriously trying to understand the underlying issues, and look forward to those moments when the experts communicate something meaningful to help them better grasp the problems at hand.

Robert stated that he's interested in educating people about the real problem of Peak Oil to hopefully give them what amounts to the "real story" (if you will) to help in making a well-informed decision about whether-or-not to act (these aren't his exact words--but I gather from what he said that it's something like this). Or, is his focus just for the experts, the ones who care about, and have the background for understanding, all the little details and whatsits involved with developing an iron-clad case for peak-now or peak-later? Or is it both?

"this mediocre, simplistic mathematical analysis"

You stated it yourself. Mediocre and simplistic might be the strongest features going for HL, because those words suggest that HL might be the easiest model for the greatest number of people to follow. Think about it. If many folk are having trouble understanding HL, then it's likely they'll even have more trouble understanding a model that's more complex. Would the general population be more convinced by the simple model, or more complex one? The answer, of course, isn't straightforward or necessarily obvious. People themselves are complex. But I think you can get the gist of what I'm suggesting here.

What's your audience? What will make the greatest number within this audience at least accept the potential dangers enough to give Peak Oil serious consideration?



Re: Good arguments questioning HL can and have been made this is not one of them

I don't mean to mischaracterize your position. Apparently, you have not drunk the "kool-aid" ala Jim Jones. Sorry if I misrepresented your views in my zeal to mock a mathematical, abstract simplification of a complex reality — world oil production.

Well then Dave lets see the "real deal". I can only assume that there are many other models out there, perhaps they are propriotery, but the debate on Huberts curve bugs you guys so much then lets see something better. I'm no petro guy but can follow most of what goes on. I thought fractional_flow was like a breath of fresh air and I also noticed very little debate from you senior guys. He said ghanwar(sp?) was 70% depleated, that is huge! and there was very little comments to the contrary...
I think it is very easy to understand oil is finite for most people, especially those in the US where we now import 60%+/- of our oil and have our youths involved in a nasty(oil) war. Most people can follow that oil must reach a peak in extraction and decline, just like the US.
I have tried baiting this question before with no response, so I will try again. I think alot of people are tired of the bickering, and I think this includes you. I have a solution...



A good model, in my view, would be along the lines of those developed to predict the economy. (Many of which currently say we are headed for recession). Of course, greater attention would have to paid to oil supply and demand issues than might be common at present.

There are many here who fall into that category, and those are the ones who respond with the most vitriol.

I think that's why you see so many negative comments. Because those people are the ones most likely to respond. I agreed with what you wrote but didn't respond because I didn't really have anything to add.

One thing your posts did do is to get me to take a closer look at HL. I had never really paid much attention to it before since I'm really not concerned with predicting a date for the peak. I don't think I'll be convinced of the date for the peak until after the fact. Then I'll be able to look back and say, yes there was the peak. But there's just too much uncertainty before the actual peak to be able to predict it. That's not to say that some people won't make good educated guesses.

I've taken a brief look at the HL graph and I don't see how anyone can think it can predict URR. The point where the line intersects the x axis increases with each new data point. It's an interesting graph to look at and think about, but it really isn't very useful.

Robert Rapier,

I am new to TOD and want to thank you for your hard work that has led to a fabulous discussion in the last few weeks about peak oil. Your "bravery" has brought other experts into the fold lately, what a great education for the layperson like myself. I now realize peak oil is certain, we can look upon this as the end or a great new opportunity, I choose the latter.


While you are pondering the amount of energy you can devote to TOD, please keep in mind that there are a lot of us who read the debates, and the posted comments are not always a fair representation of the "community". If the critical mass of TOD veers away from data and analysis and is driven by something more evangelical, then its usefulness would be greatly diminished.

The HL thread was obviously an emotional marathon. I hope that the experience, as unpleasant as it was, will not drive you away permanently. Your articles and commentary have always been spot on, grounded in evidence, and are the strength of this site.

I guess Robert and I can now argue over who first decided to take a sabbatical from TOD. I was trying to at least take a sabbatical, when the HL discussion popped up again. Following is what I just posted over on the HL discussion:

The Role of Oil Companies in Post-Peak Regions

For the purposes of this discussion, crude oil = crude + condensate.

The Lower 48 and the North Sea started showing a strong linear pattern on their crude oil HL plots in 1954 and 1988, respectively. The Lower 48 peaked in 1970, the North Sea, in 1999.

The HL data from 1954 to 1970 and from 1988 to 1999 are consistent with the respective post-peak HL data for the Lower 48 and North Sea.

The Lower 48 crossed the 50% of Qt mark in 1970, the North Sea, in 1999. The post-1970 cumulative Lower 48 crude oil production through 2004 was 99% of what the HL model predicted it would be--using production data from 1954 to 1970 to generate the HL model.

Interestingly enough, according to Matt Simmons, the major oil companies working the North Sea in 1999 were predicting that the North Sea peak was at least a decade away. Sound familiar?

There were no material restrictions on drilling in either region (minor, but not material restrictions in the case of the Lower 48), and both regions were developed by private companies.

Despite the best efforts of private companies using the best available technology, the Lower 48 and the North Sea have both shown long term declines since peaking. Empirically, the role of oil companies in these two post-peak regions has been to slow the rate of decline of conventional crude oil production.

In my opinion, major oil companies are deeply threatened by mathematical models like the HL method, as applied to world crude oil production, because it suggests that they probably can’t replace conventional crude oil reserves, and they are (justifiably) deeply concerned about punitive taxation. I thought it was interesting that Matt Simmons said that he did not own any major oil company stocks, because they probably could not replace their conventional crude oil reserves (he is focusing on service companies and smaller oil companies).

The world started showing a strong linear pattern in 1983, and on Deffeyes' crude oil HL plot, the world crossed the 50% of Qt mark in 2005. Deffeyes predicted that the most likely year for a world crude oil decline was 2006, within a predicted peak range of 2004 to 2008. As Deffeyes predicted, world crude oil production declined in 2006, relative to 2005 (EIA).

So, the Lower 48, the North Sea and the world all started showing lower crude oil production after crossing their respective 50% of Qt marks.

Empirically, in the absence of constraints on production, e.g., Texas and Saudi Arabia, regions tend to peak in the vicinity of 50% of Qt.

I can’t get inside Robert’s head, so I will assume that he is simply trying understand the HL method, rather than attacking the HL method because of the unpleasant implications it has for major oil companies.

But I do have a couple of questions for Robert.

(1) Why do you continue to treat the Lower 48 and world HL plots as if they are radioactive--while going into extreme detail on the Texas HL plot?

(2) Why do you think that world conventional crude oil production will increase past the 50% of Qt mark, when the Lower 48 and North Sea did not? (Even as world crude oil production is declining).

FWIW I think you two should give it a rest for a while. You have given us plenty to chew on and a period of reflection and waiting for more data seems to be in order here. I am grateful for all of your work.




Disagree. I'd like to hear what both gentlemen have to say about Ace's post http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2389#comment-171951
and I'd particularly like to hear Roberts analysis of Robertos http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2389#comment-171802 work.

(2) Why do you think that world conventional crude oil production will increase past the 50% of Qt mark, when the Lower 48 and North Sea did not? (Even as world crude oil production is declining).

I don't think he ever said that the world conventional crude oil production will increase past the 50% of Qt mark. I guess the million dollar question is: How do you know when the world is at 50% of Qt mark? I think he just showed that HL can't be used to reliably predict Qt or URR until after the fact.

Qt is a mathematical estimate of URR. The pre-peak Qt estimates for the Lower 48 and the North Sea are both consistent with post-peak estimates of Qt, and in both cases the regions peaked right at 50% of estimated URR.

The world is showing the same strong linear pattern as the Lower 48 and the North Sea, before their respective peaks, and like the Lower 48 and North Sea, the world started showing lower crude oil production after crossing the 50% of Qt mark.

As further support for the world peak, it's a near certainty that 14 out of 14 of the super giants oil fields that are or were producing one mbpd or more are now in decline.

WT (or anyone else); do you have a link to an overview of the full 'export land' model? I have seen tantalizing hints about it, but haven't been able to get a complete picture. I'd appreciate any pointers to older posts that would lay out the basics.


Global peak: 2007 - 2010
Global decline rate, Post peak: 2%
Economic response: Severe global recession, ~5 years, then slow recovery


It was much simpler than I was expecting, but still sobering...

Global peak: 2007 - 2010
Global decline rate, Post peak: 2%
Economic response: Severe global recession, ~5 years, then slow recovery

Export Land is way oversimplified if you ask me.

The implicit assumption is that consumption in oil-exporting countries will not be affected by worldwide shortages. But that may not be true.

Here's a concrete and somewhat pressing example: Mexico. Cantarell production is declining, and while they are scrambling to get other fields going, they can't make up the shortfall. The country is facing production declines, yet oil export revenues have been one of their main sources of national income for years.

So here's the question: suppose total Mexican oil production falls X percent. Do you think that Mexican oil exports will fall (a) more or (b) less than X percent?

Export Land would predict the answer is (a), more than X percent. Mexico will preferentially divert its falling oil production to its internal consumption. This will give it less to export and so exports will fall even worse and faster than production is decreasing.

But it's very possible that the answer is (b)! Mexico could allow internal gas prices to rise, curbing demand, so that it can maintain its export level and keep that hard currency coming in that the country depends on. This would mean that Mexican oil exports would fall less, and slower, than its internal production declines.

This is the big flaw in the Export Land model. It assumes that this can't happen. Export Land says that exports will fall faster than production and doesn't consider the reality of regimes that would prefer to receive foreign capital than to keep internal gas prices low. It's not an easy choice for a government in this situation, but it is far from clear that there is only one answer. By neglecting to consider the full range of options available to oil exporters, Export Land builds its conclusions into its assumptions. It is an oversimplified and IMO basically useless model.

A quote from Spilling Oil in Mexico linked to in yesterday's drumbeat:

Meanwhile, Mexicans themselves suffer. They pay about a dollar more for gas at the pump than their illegal-immigrant cousins in Texas. You see, there is no competition. They can buy only from Pemex.

The Mexicans suffer??, not the way you imagine. They pay a dollar more a gallon than in the US?? In a pigs eye they do! I live in Mexico. The price of gasoline is set by the government, and is the same in the entire country with the exception of Pemex stations close to the US border, where the price is set to match the US price -- because it has been cheaper here than in the US, and my ex-fellow gringos were crossing the border in droves to fill their gas sucking hogs and straining the supply network down here provoking spot shortages.

I bought gasoline just today. Have the printed receipt right here. I paid 6.82 pesos per litre for regular unleaded 87 octane. That works out to slightly less than $2.35 per US gallon at today's exchange rate. A few days ago I bought premium unleaded 92 octane for $2.88 US per gallon. That compares pretty favorably to the US average price, and for the west coast in the US those prices would be to die for. They're payin' over 3 bucks for a gallon of regular that's adulterated with 10% ethanol. When I still lived up there a few years ago that crap fuel used to lower the highway mpg in my 5.0 HO Mustang from 21.5 to 15. But I digress...

The price of the fuel doesn't tell the whole story...Of course everybody at TOD to varying degrees realizes that anything under 3 bucks a gallon is ridiculously cheap for a non-renewable resource whose days are numbered. With respect to Mexico, you have to keep in mind that wages are -it varies- roughly 1/10 what they are in the US, so for the typical Mexican motorist, the 335 pesos or so that it currently costs him to fill the 13 gallon tank in his Nissan Tsuru represents a far larger percentage of his disposable income than 30 dollars and change does for an American. And think, of the 190 or so national economies tracked by the World Bank, Mexico ranks around 45th in the world in terms of personal income. Imagine what "pain at the pump" must mean to somebody in a country that ranks about halfway down the list, (out of about 190, remember) like Albania or Bosnia or El Salvador. Actually, you won't have to imagine it for very long, pretty soon now we're all gonna get the chance to find out first hand.

My point here is not to appeal for sympathy for the majority of mankind that has no access to the energy products that fuel the first world's consumer orgy, and the entire planet's environmental catastrophe. I really can't recall hearing people down here bitch and moan about energy costs. The fuel costs what it costs, and they just pay, and the price goes up a few cents every month like clockwork. My point, if I actually have one, is to illustrate how far out of it most of the "enlightened scholarly discussion" in the peak oil community really is. Americans especially, and to a lesser extent Canadians, Europeans, Japanese, almost half of Mexicans, etc. (anybody at the party or who aspires to join it, or seriously thinks it isn't going to end badly) are all living in a fool's paradise.

It's kinda' like...

Nero didn't fiddle while Rome burned, he was just waiting for more scientifically rigorous modelling on how long it would be before his beard got singed enough to yell FIRE! and call the fire department. And since when does a lucid, tightly reasoned, peer-reviewed argument mean diddley-dick to a continent or two full of debauched drunks. (ooops, I mean "developed world political leaders, CERA, Rush Limbaugh types & other assorted *oil* addicts")

Westexas, re, Export Land Model, see the chart in this 3/9 NYT story on Mexico by Elizabeth Malkin: www.nytimes.com/2007/03/09/business/worldbusiness/09pemex.html?ex=133109... . Just an anecdote, but chart shows roughly level exports to US while overall prod. drops from 2004-06. Not picking a fight here, just saw this and passing it on. Is the 2-yr time just too short for the export drop to kick in, or is something special going on, e.g., we sell them nat-gas, we refine and pass-back some of their product, etc.?

The US is presumably Mexico's best customer, for a number of reasons, so I assume that we would be the last to be cut, but they did start curtailing crude oil deliveries to Gulf Coast refineries in January.

I think that the best model for Mexico may be the UK, which went from exporting one mbpd in 1999, to being a net importer in 2005.

The pre-peak Qt estimates for the Lower 48 and the North Sea are both consistent with post-peak estimates of Qt, and in both cases the regions peaked right at 50% of estimated URR.

WT, but was it possible to know in 1972 that Texas was at 50% of Qt? In 1972 you would have thought that Texas was at 70% of Qt. Now, 35 years after the peak, you know that Texas was around 50% of Qt in 1972. So, you see, the % of Qt at peak retreated with time. So how can you be sure that the world or Saudi Arabia is at 50% of Qt now? How do you know that the % of Qt for world and Saudi Arabia will not retreat with time, a la Texas? This is the point that RR has been trying to make for several days.

As further support for the world peak, it's a near certainty that 14 out of 14 of the super giants oil fields that are or were producing one mbpd or more are now in decline.

The world may be past or very close to peak. But you can't draw that conclusion from HL alone. Now, if Saudis fail to increase production as inventories fall and price skyrockets, that is a different story.

I suggest that you compare the Lower 48 HL plot to the world HL plot. As I have said several times, the pre-peak Texas HL plot is the noisiest of the four that we looked at in the Texas/Lower 48 article. I simply used the Texas HL plot to get the Probable URR, so I could then determine at what stage of depletion that Texas peaked.

The Lower 48, North Sea and world HL plots all have solid pre-peak HL profiles.

Then why not take up Robert's thrown down gauntlet.

Similar to his modelling by stepping us through at 10 year intervals, the data modelled out on HL. Only include those data that would've been know at the time the HL plot would've been figured.

I don't see why none of the HL defenders are seemingly unwilling to do this. Robert has repeatedly asked to be shown an example in which HL would've shown a peak in Real Time, but nobody has done this yet.

Why not? The lack of a working counter example at this point is perhaps more damning than anything Robert ever wrote.

Similar to his modeling by stepping us through at 10 year intervals, the data modeled out on HL. Only include those data that would've been know at the time the HL plot would've been figured.

Why not? The lack of a working counter example at this point is perhaps more damning than anything Robert ever wrote.

I don't know how I could have made this more clear. The pre-peak Lower 48 and North Sea data explicitly support the post-peak Qt estimates. In fact, the post-1970 cumulative Lower 48 production was 99% of what the HL model predicted it would be, using only data through 1970 to generate the model.

Exactly what part of the following Lower 48 HL plot is confusing you people:

Is half of the population on this board blind?

Robert could have done his 10 year intervals for the Lower 48. Ever wonder why he didn't?

In any case, I'm going back to my sabbatical plans.

Lower 48 HL plot through 1970:

Lower 48 Production Curve--predicted versus actual:

Using only 1970 and earlier production data, the HL plot predicted that post-1970 Lower 48 cumulative oil production would be 78.5 Gb, which is 98.7% of the actual post-1970 cumulative oil production (79.5 Gb). Note that actual oil cumulative production was slightly less than what the HL plot predicted.

(Points in green were used to construct the model).

In any case, I'm going back to my sabbatical plans.

have fun.
i feel sorry for you being on the receiving end of rr's vindictive use of his position. i was basically neutral on the use of the HL tech till robert started posting his three part series attacking you from a point where you can't counter.


You're saying (convincingly) that HL could have been used to predict the peak of the lower 48 and North Sea in real time. And you point out that these regions were produced without above-ground restrictions on production.
On the other hand, you seem to conceed that HL would not have given a real-time signal of imminent peak for Texas. Which was a swing producer - so above ground factors come into play.
Robert's oilsville example depicted a hypothetical town where production was set at a constant artificially low level by the community. Above-ground factors completely dominated geology. In such a situation HL is not a useful tool, because there is no causal relationship between URR and production rates.

Conclusion - HL can be shown to have a useful track record in regions which are freely produced. But we would not expect it to be predictive where above-ground factors dominate.

Can you and Robert agree that HL will not be a useful predictive tool where production levels are determined largely by above-ground factors?


I remind you that you post here and ask people to accept your work on a "faith based premise". You ask people to "understand" that you have a deal with the oil company you work for to be able to post here. You say you can't comment on certain things and for people to understand that. In other words Robert you ask people to "trust" you blindly that you are here for the right reasons.

You ask them to give you the benefit of the doubt blindly really. No one except you know why you post here. What tether is on you from your employer. If they have asked you to modify what you say and not let the readers know that the opinion is not truly and fully yours, but altered to perhaps "spin".

You even chided posters yourself in several posts yesterday for "faith based" answers, yet all the while you post here and wish people to accept that on faith that you are here to do the right thing.

So perhaps you should have a little tag on the end of your posts explaining that you expect everyone else to only post with solid and correct verifiable data, but that you must except yours ROBERT RAPPIERS data and positions of a FAITH BASED assumption that he is telling the truth.

because you did post these words yesterday didn't you Robert.

paraphrased: I can make 2+2=5 if I want to also.

I am sure you can Robert, for a while, so if you make such a statement why should we believe that you haven't found a way to fudge the numbers and data in your post yesterday. When asked for certain data by Memmel you responded with a blow him off response.

With your time off Robert why don't you examine Mary's paper. I am sure she would love for you to tell her why she is incorrectly interpreting the statistical data. You have nothing to do now since your not posting here. I might even send Mary your post that said she was intentionally manipulating the data to fit the outcome. Pretty strong words Robert, and in the scientific community that is a real no no. Are you saying Mary is a charlatan with the credentials she has to back up her abilities. You must be pretty smart to take her on. Whoops, wait, you just made a statement, but didn't back it up. Now is your chance Robert. You can become a media hero. Take down here paper and Hoaglands, that would really solidify your skills.

You will not do it though will you Robert. As Mary asks, why why why, is this showing up in the data.

I show you where the most intensive space program in the US seems to have a religious faith aspect, or another reason, and you're not interested. Now why is that Robert, and now you leave too.

Well, lets say, religious faith is not the real purpose, its something else.

Say on your time off why not go visit the little chapel outside Aberdeen, you know the one. See whats there etc. Perhaps see if there is a correlation between 19.5 33 etc. Why if there is, it must be a coincidence that keeps happening over and over and over again.

Remember Robert your the one that claims.

Hi, I'm Robert Rapier I work for an oil company that lets me post here. I can't talk about certain things, and please accept on faith that I am here to help. Thats all I can say.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

I think this post is worthy of being deleted as a personal attack, with no merit.

Global peak: 2007 - 2010
Global decline rate, Post peak: 2%
Economic response: Severe global recession, ~5 years, then slow recovery

There is nothing in my post to do with a personal attack.

Robert made each and every statement/claim.

He either stands by his words and actions or he doesn't.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria


That's a normal standard internet rant.
At TOD it stands out, which says a lot about the higher standard this board often meets.

You think?

TOD is so valuable because the signal/noise ratio in postings is quite high - the vast majority of the posts focus on issues, not people, and posters genuinely try to add value in their posts new with new information, or thoughtful analysis. Heck, most of them are even spelled correctly!

But as we have seen with the HL discussion, this great community is vulnerable to the positive feedback loop of 'personalizing' the debate - focusing on judging people, rather than issues, or trying to force others to agree with a specific viewpoint. These destructive loops, like any form of decay, grow more dangerous the longer they continue, and can eventually swamp the 'signal' in this forum entirely, if they are not curtailed quickly.

So while this type of post doesn't engage me at all, nor upset me (the last time I engaged in a flame war was on a USENET newsgroup, over a 9600 baud modem...), I do consider it egregious enough to be worth deleting, to dampen the feedback loop, and keep the forum healthy. The editors recently made the difficult, but IMHO correct, decision to ban several particularly vituperative posters for this reason.

Of course, that's just my $0.02... :-)

Global peak: 2007 - 2010
Global decline rate, Post peak: 2%
Economic response: Severe global recession, ~5 years, then slow recovery

Sounds like DMathews is back.

Well, it does show the kind of nonsense and vitriol that Robert put up with yesterday. That's the kind of post that shows why a rating system would be valuable. We could bury it with negative ratings for character assassination by insinuation.

Not just Robert, either. EM's uranium supply article had its share of attacks. And I've seen it with HO's posts, too. Just about everyone’s under the gun lately. Seems to be that volunteering time and effort to write an article for TOD is akin to climbing a mountain to get a glimpse of the view from the top, and then deliberately throwing oneself into a pit full of starving jackals a few moments later. I'm glad the TOD writers have the intestinal fortitude to do this!



Agreed. I'm amazed any of them have the fortitude and willingness to devote so much time to this only to get thrown into the burning pit. Ahhh, the anonymity of the internet. It's so easy to be a jerk and know that there won't be any real payback.

"I think this post is worthy of being deleted as a personal attack, with no merit."

I don't think so....your implying that it was actually coherent enough to extract a personal attack from! It's hard to be greatly insulted by gibberish! :-)

Remember, we are only one cubic mile from freedom


I will study the contents of your HL critical posts when I find an appropriate moment. I'm sure you raise valid arguments, as I think westexas does. Respect to both "camps" in keeping all this sound and civilized. I am merely just observing this all and refrain from commenting in a cloud of uncertainty.

A break from the discussion (or from the PO problem in general for that matter), for a while, is adviseble to all of us addicts/obsessed.

Meanwhile we can all agree light sweet crude has peaked, after which EROEI is declining, so give it a rest, till the garden, plant a tree, get your fishing gear ready, order your seeds and tools.....

While I never commented yesterday, I did read what you wrote, and I found your arguments to be compelling.

Sorry to hear that all of the vitriol is getting to you though.

Good for you Robert. I think both you and Jeffrey need some down time. Perhaps you should both sink some suds or something. TOD has ground out a lot of interesting info in the last month or so.

I think it is a time for rumination and observation. Lets see how global events play out this spring and then reassess the situation.

Sounds like you can use the break anyway, but sorry to see you go. I am sure many more of us read and considered your posts silently without responding than the number who bashed you. but can't really take a vote.

I think you make very good points even if I don't always agree with the conclusions. I do think you put up a challenge to HL that hasn't been answered. I am intrigued by Memmel's responses, but unfortunately he just went more personal which undermined the argument. If he had just presented a clear case showing you to be wrong it would have been much more persuasive.

I am more comfortable with bottoms-up analysis anyway and the knowledge that we are ignorant of some of the most critical facts anyway. And that it all leads to the same conclusion that we ought to be dealing with this peak problem now.

Have a good break.

Robert. You da man and always have been. I guess it won't help to tell you not to worry about gratuitous insults by assholes since they are just making themselves look bad, not you. Maybe you don't want flattery, but here it is, anyway.


I greatly appreciate your efforts (and others here) to make this site so informative. I was sure that yesterday's HL discussion would become catabolic and would be followed by a period of quietude. Although I agree with your arguments, I do admit to being an intellectual fluff-ball.

But there is one way to settle the HL debate.

Bring M King Hubbert back from the dead and let him rule on the validity of the HL. With all the advances in medicine and all the money currently spent on healthcare in the US, I don't think that this is totally unreasonable. Sure Mr Hubbert might just turn out to be another brain-eating zombie but maybe not...

I sure hope he wasn't cremated!

Really sorry to hear that, Robert. Count me as another who appreciates the work you put into the post. I was waiting for some reasoned responses as well, but most of the "debate" was exactly as you described, sadly. Hope your break is short.

To be specific, you did bite first in your essay, with your personalized attack on anyone who disagreed with you via the Titanic analogy. Given how you started that entire discussion, you should have expected personalized responses even if your analogy was right. Oftentimes it is better to leave certain things unsaid. You don't change minds by initially attacking someone's position, but you can change minds by showing them an alternative analysis that makes more sense.

Further, the rest of your HL analysis essay stands just fine on its own merits. It did not need the gratuitous insults with which it started. So please stop the "pity poor Robert" party nonsense. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or don't be the first to throw rocks, when you live in a glass house.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

I have to say, I'm a little surprised that questioning HL would turn out to be such a minefield. I agree, it seems to have turned into a religious argument. It's too bad you were on the receiving end of so much abuse for just asking important questions.

I would urge you to be less accommodating. You really don't need to respond to even a quarter of the challenges you receive. Stuart seems to have worked out a helpful method. He writes an essay, then ignores 90% of the responses, replying only to a select few that raise a particularly interesting point. Let those of us who agree with your point do some of the responding for you, or just let useless posts wither on their own. Your time is more valuable than that.

You need to get a THICKER Skin.

Both of you.

You and West texas

RR: you now live in Scotland.

Find your local pub

Go there

Two sessions should get you a nicely thickened Rhino Hide.

Speaking as a Sassenach blow-in: These Celts take no prisoners. After 2 sessions in a Scottish pub, you will happily take the slings and arrows of this blog-site in your stride...

Just make sure you avoid the Scot that all the other Scots are afraid of...

BTW: Errr.... But...ultimately... we are all on the same side...right?

I have appreciated all along when you have let us know you would be away from TOD; as I do from any contributor/regular. Best during your time away.

Why I'm not optimistic about the outcome of peak oil....

Let's see, TOD participants are generally those that are very concerned/interested in peak oil. We have a diarist who works for a major oil company and HE ACTUALLY BELIEVES IN PEAK OIL!!!! He tells us all to prepare now, regardless of when the actual date of peak is. And what happens? WE EAT OUR OWN BECAUSE HE DOESN'T AGREE WITH THE HL MODEL! How embarrassing. How telling...

For you optimists: If those believing in the peak oil are willing to eat their own BEFORE the crisis hits, what do you think will happen to the general population WHEN the first real biggie hits??? This is exactly why I am not optimistic. What we saw yesterday was a microcosm of our society, and it isn't a pretty picture.

It's actually amazing that we have someone from a major oil company that admits to peak oil and warns folks to prepare. It's a shame so many people keep missing that somehow. And for those who think he should just jump into the fray and go public now, I dare say you are naive about how the world works. First, he is probably risking his career just by the things he posts on TOD, and he does have a family to support. Second, if and when he goes public, he had better have all of his ducks in a row as he will likely be going AGAINST his company. He will likely get fired and the big gun PR will come out against him. He had better be able to lay down a case that is as iron-clad as possible. The position he is in is much different than the rest of us.

Even though Robert and Jeff may occasionally get testy with each other, that is common in professional circles. They both have a huge amount invested in this. But when we all start participating in eating our own "peak oilers" over disagreements as to the effectiveness of a model, well gee folks, we have a problem.

I have learned a lot from both Robert and Jeff and am grateful to them both. They have both instilled in me the confidence that my ELP efforts are the right thing to do. Thanks to both of you for the education and all of the effort you put into TOD!

Robert "Rapier": In Robert's case, it appears to be double-edged.

Ditto on all accounts.

Yes, all great points. Thanks for writing Ckaupp, I appreciate your perspectives. You've won a spot on my 'always read' list.

Thanks! I'm an honored old ewe!

in eating our own "peak oilers"

It's a guy thing Cheryl, you wouldn't understand.

One of the reasons I posted under the handle "Alpha Male Prophet of Doom" was in recgonition that a significant portion, if not majority, of our discussions on these boards aren't discussion of facts, data, etc. They're social dominance contests DISGUISED as discussions of facts, data, etc.

I personally enjoy the "intellectual caged combat" aspect of these forums but keep in mind I'm an attorney by training, business person by trade. I've never worked in the oil biz like Robert or Jeff but my guess is that engaging in open hostilities, subterfuge, and vitriolic personal attacks against one's peers while being constantly utterly humiliated by one's superiors is not the normal state of affairs in geology school the way it is in law school.

So if somebody viciously attacks me personally my first reaction is "Ahhh. . . I see you want to dance with the Chimp who Can Drive formerly known as the AMPOD . . ." unless it is from somebody much higher on the totem pole in which case the strategy is to roll up into a ball and hope the attacker moves onto another target before inflicting too much damage.

Now for folks coming from less primordialy savage backgrounds, the normal reaction when being viciously personally attacked is to think, "Why the hell should I put up with this crap?"

So that's what AMPOD is! I'm still trying to catch up on all of this reading and still get some work done.

It does very much remind me of working at Intel Corp, which was/is, of course, a male dominated company. There were times I was just stunned at what went on. Guys were always looking for someone to deflect blame on, they would lie, cheat, do whatever it took to deflect blame and or make themselves look good at the expense of others. I swore they ate nails for breakfast to prepare for the day ahead.

As one of the few female staff level managers in the last group I was in, I found it so bad that the "competitors" acted as if they worked for different companies and were in a fight to the finish to win over the market. They didn't even care if it was ultimately bad for Intel, as long as it got them what they wanted.

But in all honestly, it wasn't confined just to the men. Some of the female "up and comers" were just as bad. I hated it and couldn't wait to retire. When I started having some medical problems, I decided it was a GREAT time to just bail.

I still believe it is going to be our downfall as a society. I just don't see kindness and cooperation happening, and it seems to permeate everything. Hopefully I am 100% WRONG.

Oh, and I did kind of understand it -- hated it -- but did understand the caveman behavior. What I also understood, as a female and a real "softie," was that I couldn't let them know it got to me. That was SOOOOO hard. Frankly, I often went home and cried my eyes out. But I clearly understood that if I cried at work, that it was over for me. There were 2 times this happened, and each time I worked out a transfer as quickly as possible since I knew the tears would be a strike against me forever.

I was pretty heavily involved in the hiring of recent college grads, and often had a team that was composed mostly of these bright, eager young "kids." These kids, not accustomed to such "evil," and expecting a warmer family-type atmosphere, were often devastated and even damaged by what they encountered. I watched a few of them turn into bitter jerks within a year or two. Motherly old me often protected them behind my "skirts," but in all honesty I was struggling as much as they were. There were times I wanted them to stand BESIDE me, not BEHIND me, because I was borderline broken and needed all the support I could get too.

If it hadn't been for my previous experience in male-dominated jobs, I probably would not have survived Intel for very long, nor would I have been as successful -- especially considering that I didn't have anything but a 2-year degree. But several previous jobs were real eye-openers to the world of working with men: first as an electronics mechanic at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, then as an air traffic controller at Oakland Enroute Air Traffic Control Center. But those were the 70's and the attitudes were very different. Women were mostly NOT welcome in those fields and they were scarce: At the shipyard, I was the first female apprentice ever, and at the Oakland ARTCC there were several hundred men and I was only the 3rd woman hired there, and the first female that was not in the military.

The work environment was so different. Many of the old guys REALLY, REALLY didn't want women doing their jobs as it infringed on their identity. They were usually cold and unfriendly. But there were always a few who were warm and welcoming who would take you "under their wing" and take great pride in your accomplishments. The younger males, for the most part, thought it was a hoot to have young women around since they got bored being around only men all day. But problems arose as the "alpha males" would compete for the few females and it sometimes spiraled out of control. Back in those days, job competition was evident but not so harsh and mean. It felt more good-natured and not so filled with deceit and finger-pointing, and there was more acceptance of personal responsibility.

I would be more optimistic if the US felt like it did in the 70's, but it doesn't. When the oil crisis of 73/73 hit, there were a lot problems with "line anger" and "bumper bashing" when people lost it while waiting in line or someone crowded in front of them. There were lots of thefts and locking gas caps entered the picture (just like TP locks a few years before).

But what was really cool was the willingness of friends and co-workers to help each other. Those who never went through it can't imagine what it did to our lives, and we're only talking a drop of about 2% of supplies as I recall, yet it turned us inside out. Our lives literally revolved around getting FUEL. You had to plan it in advance and hope and pray it worked out. For example, I could only get gas on even days, so I had to make sure I planned everything just right to account for work days when I couldn't get to the pump and weekends when stations might be closed. You had to plan on being in line for hours, and then maybe having the station run out of fuel once you got to the pumps. Then, as everyone else left in line is scrambling, just like you, to find a station (another LINE) to get gas, you start to panic. If it was getting late, they could all be closed or out of fuel too. If you didn't get fuel, you could be screwed and stuck.

Most of my co-workers lived far apart, but we helped each other as much as possible. I remember one particular incident where the local station ran out of gas and I couldn't get any on my even day. So a friend, who lived on the opposite side of the bay, took me home the next day (an odd day) and spent the night with me. I just left my beloved car at work. The next day he took me to work and I was able to refuel. This time, in order to pay back the favor, I took him home and spent the night there (and no, free love and all, it wasn't about sex). And so on. There were also many times when friends followed each other home because one was worried about running out of gas. What usually happened was that you spent every other day in line getting gas, if your could, just to keep your tank topped up. It was a MESS.

For anyone who did not live through this, you cannot imagine what it does to your life when EVERYTHING begins to revolve around getting fuel. Every trip to the gas station was HOURS and had to be planned. I remember being afraid I was going to run out of gas in a very rough, unfamiliar area of San Francisco late at night. Terrifying. I knew no one. There were NO cell phones (imagine that). For those of us who lived paycheck to paycheck, not only was the cost killing us, we were terrified of losing our jobs if we couldn't get gas and get to work. This all happened in a kinder, gentler time in America--and it brought out the best in some, the worst in others.

There are so many more people and cars now, and such an aggressive, disconnected society, that it is hard to imagine what it might look like today with similar fuel constraints. Think of pictures of collapsing societies where people stand in line ALL day for a little bread or fuel. I can't imagine it being anything except exponentially worse in these times and conditions. Important point: back then we KNEW it would end when the embargo ended. What will it look like in our aggressive society when we KNOW it WON'T end, but that it will progressively get worse???? If I take my experience of the 70's (and even the 80's) and try to envision it in the 00's, I come away with a very bad feeling. It's all about winning no matter the cost....

you were vindictive. you used your post(as in position) to criticize another respected member of the blog. westexas doesn't have the same status as you and can't post /his/ side of the debate on the main page. especially when said articles get kept on the top or near the top above drum-beats.
also these article do not get shared with other place's with the comments intact further removing his ability to do a reasonable debate.
i admit my post on your thread was trollish, though i /thought/ to get such a title here of 'contributor' you should not do this. guess i was wrong.

Hi Robert,

I appreciate your presence, your willingness to talk, and the time you have given to us - as well as to the many who read and do not post (and I know they exist).

As an example of how much your work, Jeffrey's work (and that of others) means, I had a long talk last night w. someone who I consider to be extremely knowledgeable (w. an engineering/science background). Our conversation had a reference point in several recent articles, and my guess is perhaps some new insights and future contributions may result from the conversations here. For me, this is the best of TOD.

It sounds like your need for respect, acknowledgment and friendliness wasn't met.

I'd like to support your meeting these needs (we all have), in any specific way possible.

The only thing I know is to try to "translate" words/posts such as in your list above, using some of the ideas mentioned at www.cnvc.org, www.newconversations.net - (for the reference). This is just to say, this can take more time and effort than people usually give in the "hurried world" of the online forum. (And I've been hesitant to just "jump in.")

I hope you'll "visit" during your time away, comment whenever you can and/or want to...and come back very soon...

The bottom feeders on this site, who have some how temporarily escaped from their normal lives at the bottom of the gene pool, through self righteous and slanderous abuse, have managed to lose us one of our brilliant contributors.

Robert Rapier's contributions were intelligent, professionally presented and added enormously to the debate and our knowledge. And now he has gone.

To those of you who abused him yesterday: You are a bunch of idiots and do not deserve him or the excellence you find on TOD. As you have amply demonstrated, you do not understand it anyway, so why bother?


Jim Willie is banging on Cantarell and Ghawar and Mentions TOD as the source.

War, Energy, Banks & USDollar

The story to focus upon out of OPEC headquarters is the sharp decline in Saudi oil production since 2005, as shown by the graphic below, taken from The Oil Drum. This aint output cutbacks to support price. This is depletion evidence taken in four views from four sources, with four parallel trendlines. The time span shown overlaps with the push in the oil price up to the Lebanon War last July. This Saudi oil output decline all occurred, despite a 150% rampup in oil rigs in Saudi oil fields from January 2005 onward, as reported by Baker Hughes. The Saudi decline is the biggest unreported energy story, with Cantarell the second. Huge implications come to the USEconomy as a direct domino from higher oil prices. Talk on Wall Street of downward oil price trends are more propaganda and self-serving promotional chatter, as the major firms like Goldman Sachs are loading up on their energy investment positions. The risks to the USDollar are rising from both liberal monetary forces and desperate energy forces, not to mention geopolitical backlash forces.



TOD is getting a lot of trackbacks these days. Free Market News highlights Miquel's article under the headline, "Is Nuclear Power the Answer?" And
Resources Investor highlights Euan's article, as "Additional oil production possible, expert says."

Maybe that's why the server seems to be choking this morning. I'm having a lot of trouble getting the news stories up today. And you can't even hit the back arrow when the server pukes. You lose all your work, unless you save it before trying to post.

I noticed the page delays on my end
and wondered what was up. I think you
hit the nail on the head with
the trackback explanation.

not relavent: read no further if you are of a serious and high minded disposition:

Leanon's catch up the way:

''A visitor avoided the bathroom because she knew she would find no toilet paper there.''

Ha Ha Ha!

A new spin on Anal Retentive...

Well she can always crap in the bushes on the way to the car and use foliage as loo paper. Unless the Police come round the corner.

In which case she can pinch it off and hoist her knickers and run...

Jeez... its true. Sometimes you can be too rich for your own good.

It's probably time to get offended and do a GBCW.

Nah. IME, the number, length, and drama of GBCW posts is inversely proportional the probability that the poster will actually leave.

When I decide to leave, I'll just vanish.

Leanan, my sweet, you could bring us all to heel and reform the whole bad lot of us just by threatening to leave!

Which, maybe you just did.... :-(

I'm not planning on leaving any time soon. I may take the rest of today off, though, because the @#$& server issues are driving me nuts. :-P

Leanan? Leanan? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

the TOD staff contributes because we feel its important - however - most of us can take our time and then put a post in the queue when we have downtime in our personal schedules. Leanan sets those news-links up EVERYDAY. Given how hard it is to format everything nicely let alone find the sources, Leanans efforts and consistency are herculean for keeping this site top notch. Herculean is one word, masochistic also comes to mind...;)

Jim Willie is great. I highly recommend his newsletter, the Hat Trick Letter. Having exchanged numerous emails with him, he is obviously a real character and a very nice person. I may drop every other subscription that I have, but I will always subscribe to the Hat Trick Letter.

I've exchanged emails also and I read his stuff everytime I see it either at http://www.FinancialSense.com or http://www.321gold.com/archives/archives_date.php

He does see the big picture and has been very close in all assessments. Great writer.

He left too. Costa Rica I think.

Joe Bageant left and went to belize
Oh, Plug for Joe. Here's one on Joe's site called
Escaping before the last battle for oil

I recommend these.

Madmen and Sedatives: Inside the Iron Theater

Somewhere a Banker Smiles

All good stuff. Thanks for the links to Joe's stuff.

And yes, JW went to CR. JW's stuff sometimes shows up on Kitco too for those that might be interested.

John William's of Shadow Government Stats is great for understanding how our economic stats are calc'ed and how they've changed over the years to hide the "decay." Your first exposure to this might be rather unsettling or similar to you first reaction to peak oil...one of disbelief.

New Canadian Taxes and Energy


Natural gas distribution pipelines and liquefied natural gas facilities will also be eligible for faster write offs.

...the oil sands will lose its prized accelerated write-off for general investments.

The changes to the tax rules leave the accelerated capital cost allowance grand-fathered for existing tar pit projects. Given the various factors constraining additional investments in any case, I wonder if this measure isn't more about the Harper government's pre-election image makeover.

I suspect that if the Conservatives get the majority in Parliament that they are seeking, we will see new and improved ways to subsidize expanded tar pit mining and synthetic fuel production.

Apocalypse Soon...

For a larger version, click on the image. :o)



"They always seem to nuke themselves into the stone-age don't they?"

US-Russia tensions rise over antimissile bases

Russia has threatened to withdraw from INF missile treaty, and target proposed US bases in Poland, Czech Republic.

Russian officials have said that Iran has no missiles capable of reaching the United States or even Western Europe and that Iran is incapable of developing them any time soon.

Sergei Ivanov, then defense minister, told the German newspaper Die Welt this month that it would take "at least 20 years" for Iran to develop missiles that could reach Central Europe.

"I think you can draw your own conclusions about which missiles this system actually targets," Solovtsov said. "This is why we are watching the situation with anxiety and concern."

Bloody Leggo People.

They get everywhere.

BUT NOT FOR MUCH LONGER! Ha Ha: they are made of hydrocarbons....

Am I polluting the intellectual rigour of this site?

Ring ''0800 I dont give a sh1t''

"they are made of hydrocarbons"

That's the absolute beauty of using them in Peak Oil-related comics. There'll be more like the one above, to be sure...

Oh, and I'm in the process of encasing many of the minifigures in amber, so they can last for millions of years. They'll outlast humanity! BwaHaHaHaHa!




Iraq’s Kurds to go it alone on oil deals
By Carola Hoyos in London

Published: March 22 2007 20:40 | Last updated: March 22 2007 20:40

The Kurdistan regional government plans to triple the number of foreign oil companies operating in its region by the end of the year regardless of whether Iraq’s parliament passes a politically sensitive hydrocarbon law.

In an interview, Ashti Hawrami, the Kurdish energy minister, said Kurdistan would become a hub for energy companies that were not ready to invest in the rest of Iraq because of security concerns.

I'm reading A CENTURY OF WAR: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order by William Engdahl. It's fascinating and throws a new light on many pieces of 20th century history.

There are some weird holes in it: like WW2! Anyway, he certainly makes a good case that the fight for control of oil was the key theme in the last century.

I am a newcomer to this Peak Oil stuff. When I started reading The Oil Drum and the Peak Oil forum, I was understandably quite scared about the consequences. But I wonder if people are not exaggerating way too much, crying wolf about the end of civilization and whatnot. Yes, I am referring to the Apocalipse Soon? article that is linked in the drumbeat. My problem with constant linking to such articles is that we might be giving a disproportionate voice to these fringes, and risk being labelled loonies by the mainstream. Yes, I realise that there are also links to the more optimistic scenarios, but why do I get the impression these are fewer and often dismissed as cornucopian?

I think this community should focus more on practical solutions to the Peak Oil problem. I liked the article on
Potential Solutions to Peak Oil Crisis
liked above. And there are other realistic, yet moderately optimistic predictions about life in a post-peak world just a google away. Myself, I don't own a car, and now encourage family members and friends to use public transportation. If peak oil arrives soon things can be hard for a while, but for the most part I am sure that life will go on as usual. Just my 2 eurocents.

Maybe we need the doom...correct or not.

Since if you take the Global Warming case, it isn't until people stood up and started saying "We're past the tipping point", and "This is a planetary emergency" that people are JUST STARTING TO PAY ATTENTION.

Quiet and reasonable discussions like the scientific community for GW over the last 30 years will not be heard.

Loud mouths (like the article you reference) get heard because they are fringe and novel (and maybe obnoxious. But polite discourse just might not get the results you need for this looming crisis. And I figure, we want results or at least awareness.

I am sure many disagree, and it is an ugly approach...but it gets attention. JHK and Simmons are examples and they bring many new people to awareness.

I agree with you. I've struggled with whether the doomer's are right or not since I first found out about PO 3 years ago. There was a thread last saturday where I got a lot of feedback about it.

I really don't want to start a new doomer thread or rehash the reasons why I feel the way I do, but I've finally concluded that 1) I don't think the extreme doomers have it right, and 2) even if the extreme doomers do have it right, I don't want to be around for the world they envision.

Before people accuse me of being a cornucopian, I will mention that:

1) I believe PO will occur and be very difficult time.
2) I live on less than 1/2 my income.
3) I walk to work.
4) I live in a small midwestern city that is more sustainable than most.
5) The only debt I have left is student loans, and I'll have all my debt paid off within a year.
6) I buy as much food as I can the local farmer's market.
7) I average around 1000 miles a year on my vehicle.

So I have made certain preparations and expect the world will be a very different place for my children than it was for my parents. But I just don't believe that just bc/ PO will be TEOTWAWKI, it does not necessarily mean the end of the world.

To prepare for peak oil, I have also adjusted to living on 1/2 of my income....my ex-wife gets the other half


I just don't believe that just bc/ PO will be TEOTWAWKI


Question for you, I stated this somewhere else in this thread. I'm restating as I'm curious to your response:

Global Oil War II did not end until 2 nuclear bombs had been dropped. How many nuclear bombs do you think it will take to end Global Oil War III?

If you don't think GOW III will end in nuclear war as GOW II did, then please explain why, keeping in mind that our leaders are likely to get much more desperate today as the global energy situation is now on the decline instead of the upswing as it was in 1945.

I will remind you that the U.S. just comissioned an entire new generation of hydrogen bombs. At the same time that China raised its defense budget by 20%. These movements are not being made for shits and giggles.

Thus far, my preps are nearly identical to yours with the exception I've been fortunate enough to work from home thus eliminating the need for a car. These preps are great for the short term, the perido in which civilization has collapsed in OTHER cities such as Baghdad, Detroit, and New ORleans but has not hit our own cities and sectors of the economy.

However, I see where this is going (global nuclear war) and am doing my darndest to find a corner of the world where me and mine will have a shot of living our lives out with some dignity, something I do not think will be possible in most of North America.

In a version of the Global Change Game, high authoritarians/dominants - of the sort we have in power now - managed to kill the entire planet in short order. It was so fast and early in the game, the gamers restarted the game - only time ever done. After that, the leaders *still* managed to kill off more people than virtually all other groups that had ever played the game.

cfm in Gray, ME

but for the most part I am sure that life will go on as usual...

If you cycle over to the big-box store, or what-ever it's called in the country you live in, and look around, you might conclude that 95% of the stuff (salad spinners, bagel cutters, hair dryers, toasters, blenders...) is irrelevant to the core business of LIVING.

Now it happens, that the 95% number closely correlates with the 95% of the population who no longer produce FOOD. Instead...they produce stuff which is irrelevant to the core business of living.

So what brutish thing happens when these folks begin to be unemployed? The stuff that supports them is predicated on oil to manufacture, to transport. The financial system that tracks it all is based on growth which is predicated on oil.

So it is a big conundrum... 95% of the population is selling each other "stuff".

If you can dig it up... William Catton's book "Overshoot: The Ecological Basis for Revolutionary Change" is a good read.

On the nose...but don't forget about food production problems...

The world doesn't end...just the world as we know it today. It will be different and difficult. It doesn't have to be doom. It is a perspective thing.

Well, at least in one possible scenario.

As one of the resident realists here (I no longer use the word "doomer"), what people can't get through their heads is what is necessary isn't simply a modification of current soceity but rather a different reality.

I've walked the walk of sustainablity and survival for a long, long time so I'm not theorizing about a different reality. And, a big part of this different reality is personal responsibility. For example, if I don't get out there and fell trees for firewood, I don't have winter heat. Period. There is no one to blame but myself. If I don't go get out there and deal with the wild pigs and bears in our garden and orchard, I'm not going to have any crops. And if anyone thinks it's fun to grab a gun each time you leave the house, it isn't.

We don't consume "stuff" and that includes "services" unless I absolutely postively can't repair it. Hell, we even decided to stop getting TV a few years ago and the only movie I went to see in 25 years was An Inconvient Truth. As is mentioned by another poster, consumer society would collapse if everyone lived like me.

I haven't been on a real vacation since 1968 and we never go out to eat. The list is endless.

My point to all of this is people don't want to hear the truth. They want to believe that all that's needed is a little more energy efficiency to maintain the status quo. They don't want to live like people like me even if that is their salvation.

Todd; a Realist

You've hit on a key issue. While consumer society or the economic system as we know it will not collapse because of what you or I personally do, a call for the mass of consumers to significantly cut back on consumption would seem to create a situation where the overall economy becomes nonviable.

Perhaps you have reached a situation where you don't need an income or only need a very low income. This may not be feasible for the vast majority of people. It could even be that your low income (assuming it is low) will become virtually nonexistent if the whole economy collapses because others emulate your behavior.

I have a moderate income and consider myself relatively frugal. I don't think we need to maintain the current economic system so that we can maintain the lifestyles of the rich, the super rich, or the rich wannabes with massive consumer debt. However, I also do not think that creating an economy that will essentially be in a state of depression is a viable approach. On the other hand, one might argue we are heading there regardless of our desires our intentions.

In order to be "sustainable", do we need to revert to a kind of middle ages existence? On the other extreme, people like Al Gore seem to think we can have it all. Massive homes, massive energy consumption and sustainability. What's not to like given the apparent Gore paradigm.

Not that I want, particularly, to bash Gore. He just comes to mind as, apparently, a de facto proponent of the idea that we can have it all.

As a minimum, providing useful services to each other seems like a relatively low impact way to provide income. Not all of us have all the skills we need without at least trading with others.

My point to all of this is people don't want to hear the truth. They want to believe that all that's needed is a little more energy efficiency to maintain the status quo. They don't want to live like people like me even if that is their salvation.

Good post. And I might point out that even you are benefitting enormously from industrial society. You are using a computer so obviously have electricity in your home. I'm guessing you probably have indoor plumbing and use a chain saw to cut your wood. Your wood stove is an industrial product. And the list goes on and on.

When the fossil fuels and high grade ores are gone think middle ages or worse. And what was the population then compared to now. Even the extreme doomers on this list are probably optimists.


This is why there will be no solar/wind/hydrogen "manhattan projects", at least not on an scale likely to make a difference to you and me, in the future. Take a look at the above picture of a copper mine. the thing simply cannot be mined without industrial (read: Oil-powered) heavy machinery. It's almost shocking at what is involved in extracting ores these days.

The cost of keeping the machines running will out pace the increase in the price of copper. And the more you mine, the harder it gets since copper and other ores are subject to delining returns just like everything else.

This is one of the reasons why, I think if you've got a strong stomach, there are really only two options at this point:

1. If you are able to, find a corner of the world where there is at least a chance you will be able to eke out a stone age existence with dignity. this is what I'm trying to do but it is not easy for reasons both financial and psychological.

(The fact that it takes considerable financial capital to check out of the petroleum-banking slave grid and into something more sustainable is an irony not lost on me. But anybody whose made a big move can attest to the fact it costs a lot of money.)

2. If #1 is not realistic for you then move to the center of a high value nuclear target such as Seattle. This is a city that, as a source of concentrated economic activity, is likely to do okay in 6-to-60 months prior to the nuclear war. (a period we very well may have already entered) But once it starts it will be one of the first cities blasted. If you live there you thus have a high chance of dying a quick and painless death, one that will undoubtedly be prefferable to whatever would befall you in the weeks, months, or (if you're really unfortunate) years ahead should you survive in the rural hinterlands or whatever is left of the outskirts of the cities.

I'm opting for #1 currently but have not completely ruled out #2.

Now if you DON'T have a strong stomach, there is only 1 option which is to delete, deny, or rationalize out of existence the facts you find to be psychologically too much too handle. From a short-term survival standpoint, this is a perfectly rational thing to do and I don't find fault with those who opt for it.

Thanks. I knew I was in the right place.
Double tall latte, anyone?

Pretty much how I see it. We delayed too long in mitigating the effects, so now it is too expensive and resources will be too scarce. It will be mitigated for a relatively small portion of earth's population, but not most.

#1. I can attest to the fact that it costs a lot of money to "check out," and there is that sense that you need to hurry so that you can get certain things while they are still widely available.

I'm looking at a basic, "starter" solar PV system. It will provide about 5kwh daily (when the sun is shining enough) and will likely cost $12-$15K. Our solar hot water cost $4500, but tax credits do help a LOT. But you still need to come up with the money up front.

Then there are tools you need to buy, greenhouses to set up, armaments and the prison walls to build around your ELP.... (just joking, I think).

Are you just pulling our legs with this stuff? Wild pigs and bears?!
No offense or anything.

Brer Fox (picture I took in the garden)
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Brer Bear (picture closely resembling a brief encounter near my place)
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Yes, these sorts of beasties really do exist out there! And some of us deal with them competing for various resources (such as chickens). But we try to allow them their space and avoid unpleasant encounters by adequately protecting our 'stuff.'


Well, my long post got trashed and it's too late to do it again. No joke. Maybe I'll post a life in the country thread some day.


I have some fantastic pictures of cougar tracks. 5" wide! walked not more than 400'from my house. Bears too-at 100'! Yes wild animals are not all that afraid of humans. We had a coyote on our deck 4 months ago. A friend has some pictures of a cougar looking in a window at little kids watching TV.
Wilderness family was a disney movie...

Hi Todd,

Thanks for writing.

A while back, you mentioned that you'd been thinking about education for a while and you might write your thoughts up (I believe you mentioned the following weekend, if you had time).

I'm interested and would like to encourage you to do this and share, if possible. To me, guest articles are easier to deal w. (than drumbeats) and if that might be a venue, (if ok w. the editors), perhaps consider it?


I haven't forgotten (and I'm glad you haven't either) and have been working on a draft. There is an inhernet problem I haven't overcome. Namely that it has to be described within a societal context which became verbose and convoluted. Until I can get this societal context simplified, I believe it would lead to more discussion about the society I foresee than about potential educational approaches.

But, have no fear it will come one of these days. It just turned out to be far harder than I thought.


'For example, if I don't get out there and fell trees for firewood, I don't have winter heat. Period. There is no one to blame but myself.'

Except what happens when you personally can't fell trees? To me, this is one of the core differences between those who feel that humans live in communities, and those who don't.

In a 'civilized' society, members do not instantly go for each others' throats in hard times, they instead work as a community. But the dominant metaphor in America is that society will instantly devour itself in an unbridled orgy of destruction, bloodlust, and pillaging if it can't go shopping at the mall.

While this may actually be true in America - I'm at least marginally sympathetic to the idea that Americans will do anything (torture, invade other countries, wiretap/photograph/fingerprint everyone, and so on) to keep living as they do - I'm remain unconvinced this is universally true.

I agree with the point about not wanting to hear the truth, but that applies to all of us. Driving my son to school in the snow (no trains on Saturdays that fit his school tram schedule - luckily only one Saturday a year), he noticed another section of forest had been converted to firewood. I then pointed out to him the other sections that have been densely planted, which are planned for wood harvesting over the next generation, as such thinning will be required as the oak, beech, birch, pine, etc grow (each in their area - no real mixed forests in this little part of Germany).

Your way of thinking is not wrong, but in my town, and the others around here, a portion of that wood is reserved for people who are too old/too poor. (Generally together - there isn't that much wood, after all, and young and healthy and poor means you can cut your own wood, after all.)

I too am not a doomer, except for seeing all the bad things likely to happen, and would like to think of myself as a realist. Here, people keep insulating houses, installing PV/solar heating systems, invest in a wind/renewable grid, etc. None of this involves rugged individualism. It just seems like the smart thing to do, so a number of people decide to do it, out of self-interest.

However, we are in complete agreement in saying that tweaking a few things will allow things to continue as they are. Absolutely not - the changes will be forced on people who have made no preparation or planning as reality doesn't allow for much discussion. But in places where at least a degree of future awareness exists, and where a certain sense of social responsibility is considered a minimum feature of how its citizens interact, my opinions are much less pessimistic, though still based on realism. And yes, European history is really, really ugly - no argument that bad things have happened, and will happen again. I just don't see it happening (absent war) in the next decade or two.

Todd has said one of the most important observations about living in the booneys.

"...people can't get through their heads is what is necessary isn't simply a modification of current soceity but rather a different reality."

...a different reality... I agree 100%
We get people up here in summer when it is nice, warm, and they really like it. Funny they never want to visit when you are butchering, cutting 5 cords of wood, the power has been out for a week, there is 24" of snow on the ground and/or it is 12 degrees outside.

It takes more work to live in the booneys. Fire and rescue is 30-45 min. for them to get here. Police same thing. You tend to understand how much you need and depend on your neighbors. Most of my neighbors are armed some heavily but not one is a what town people would call a "survivalist". We just live beyond "help" that you can call for in town. A 12 ga pump shotgun sits in the corner of our kitchen - has for years. Use it @ 3 times a year when wildlife and my dog get into it. The dog goes to the vet every other year for wildwife related injuries..."a fight to the death" is very, very diferent and "you" must take action and fast. My kids grew up with a gun in the corner and have never played with it, it is meant for killing and they know it, it is not a toy. Does this sound crude and brutish to you? I think if you lived out here you would eventually realize 1) help is not on the way. 2) you get some nasty surprizes sometimes. 3) guns are tools that deserve the ultimate respect 4)you better have some.
We tend to get asses from town that have no respect for private property. If it doesn't have a curb then they don't seem to understand it isn't thiers. I could write a book about these encounters.
Todd is very much correct about a diferent reality. I have said the same thing multiple times to my wife. It is one thing to visit - it is quite different to live it.
I see the shear panic and fear in people faces who are lost in thier BMW's. I just smile and draw them a map of the way "out". I feel 10x safer out here than I do in big cities they obviously feel the opposite.

If peak oil arrives soon things can be hard for a while, but for the most part I am sure that life will go on as usual. Just my 2 eurocents.

I agree. It was interesting to see in this article that Leanan linked to yesterday that gasoline consumption per capita in France (and some other European countries) is only a sixth of that of the US. And I'd be willing to bet that if push came to shove, the French could reduce this consumption by 30% or more without suffering a dramatic drop in their standard of living (some discomfort and inconvenience yes, but collapse no).

For obvious reasons TOD editorials concentrate on supply side analyses, but we haven't seen nearly as much discussion of demand side mitigation (with some notable exceptions, e.g. from Stuart Staniford).

Could the US 'survive' on an annual gasoline consumption of 100 gals per capita as opposed to 450? Whenever I've travelled to America with my family (23 states in the last ten years) everyone seems to look at us as if we're insane when we walk everywhere, even if it's just a short half-mile stroll from our hotel to a restaurant. You only have to look at the infrastructure for pedestrians vs autos in most US cities compared to European ones to realise how wedded Americans are to their vehicles. I therefore find it somewhat surprising that it's the US members of TOD who seem most doomerish. It seems to me that with a gradual culture change combined with increased auto efficiency you have a huge amount of slack to play with, much more than most other nations.

[Just so there's no misunderstanding, this is merely an objective observation, not in any way a criticism of the US or its citizens]

Could the US 'survive' on an annual gasoline consumption of 100 gals per capita as opposed to 450?

Unfortunately no, we can't. The US screwed itself decades ago by building everything around the private automobile. I don't know where you live but try living in typical suburban USA without a car. You can't do it. Your job, the food stores, all your supplies are miles away. I tried living without driving much in suburban Rockville, Maryland for a while. Even with a grocery store across the road it was a good mile hike through dangerous traffic over these enormous parking lots just to buy food. There aren't enough resources left on the planet to re-build all this infrastructure.

McKibben cites in "Deep Economy" (p230) economist Malcom Slesser as saying that about 55% of the energy we consume is required by the economic growth process itself. [his italics]. That's the cost of new stuff required by growth - new buildings, new machines, new roads.

We're going to rebuild first for ethanol, then for hydrogen, then for electric, then for whatever the next technological promise might be? I don't think so. I don't think we'll make it through the first rebuilding. What we'll do is throw money after the bad - subsidizing cars and roads and fuel. Then one day we'll wake up with nothing in the tank and it won't matter how many dollars in the bank - assuming it can open in the first place.

Gradualism isn't going to work. The costs of being gradual will bankrupt us. We need to jump directly to the right paradigm and that is going to be very difficult to figure out. John Howe has done some work on that and figures about 1/8 the energy we use now - and that assumes crash investment in solar and wind. 1/8 the energy is not 100 gallons of the 450, but more like 50. What it would really mean is no car and all the changes around that.

cfm in Gray, ME

We're going to rebuild first for ethanol, then for hydrogen, then for electric, then for whatever the next technological promise might be? I don't think so. I don't think we'll make it through the first rebuilding.

I agree it is cornucopian nonsense to think otherwise. There is neither the foresight, patience, political will, time or money to design, build, and adapt to any of these alternative infrastructures. Each has a myriad of completely different demands than the others. The devises to carry ethanol are not the same as those to carry hydrogen or electricity.

We are stuck in a liquid petroleum world.


We need to jump directly to the right paradigm and that is going to be very difficult to figure out.

Based on discussions in this forum, and some minor amount of thought between the previous oil downturn (the 70's) and now, I'd say:

  1. distributed solar/wind/hydro electric with battery backup to minimize the amount of required grid buildout;
  2. an electrified mass transit / transportation system as Alan keeps stressing (does require some grid buildout);
  3. reorganized industry around this paradigm .. something like J.M. Greer's technological triage;
  4. a recycling industry with some thought process behind it: not just landfill by another name.

And it's probably worth noting that if we don't recognize the population problem, it's going to solve itself but not in a nice way.

Gradualism isn't going to work. The costs of being gradual will bankrupt us. We need to jump directly to the right paradigm and that is going to be very difficult to figure out.


I'd like to say that we are a herd of Cats.
When we need to turn all in unison like a school of fish.

We ain't going to turn fast enough or far enough like you said. I've been watching the rate of change for the last 6 years and it isn't nearly fast enough. Back in 2001 the common belief that Peak would be in 2012-2015 timeframe.
Now I truly believe that we are already at peak.

Hi cfm

re: "We need to jump directly to the right paradigm and that is going to be very difficult to figure out. John Howe has done some work on that and figures about 1/8 the energy we use now - and that assumes crash investment in solar and wind."

Could you fill this in a little more (perhaps expand) and post? If at all possible.

"everyone seems to look at us as if we're insane when we walk everywhere"

You're absolutely right about this. I'm sure you've noticed as well the obesity in America. The unwillingness to walk goes beyond laziness. It just doesn't make any sense to me. Here's a few examples of what I mean.

-I know people who on a perfectly beautiful day will circle a parking lot for 10 minutes looking for a spot that's 50 feet closer when they're going into a mall where they'll be walking a mile.
-Recently we had a birthday party for one of my children. about 6 neighborhood families were invited. All of them live within 1 to 5 blocks. It was a 70 degree F June day. 5 of the 6 families drove. People who have a couple kids realize that if you're only going a half mile or less, it's less work to walk with your kids or put them in a stroller than it is to load them in and out of a car seat and drive 3 blocks and then find a parking spot on the street.
-A friend of mine that I work out with insists on driving to the gym that's 3 blocks from his house. There's very little off street parking and half the time he ends up parking a block or two away, which hardly gets him any closer, not to mention the fact that a 5 minute walk to/ from the gym is a great warm up/ cool down for the workout.
-I walk to work and it's a common scenario for someone to pull over and ask if I need a ride and is my car in the shop. They just have no category for walking to get somewhere.
-Our neighborhood is tight enough that only a few kids get bussed to school. The rest are supposed to walk, but most of those kids get driven 2 or 3 blocks to school by a parent even when the weather is gorgeous.

Americans have just been brainwashed somehow- it defies logic.

Americans have just been brainwashed somehow- it defies logic.

They've been brainwashed by marketing to believe that they are only safe when in a building or surrounded by as much metal as possible. Look at all of your examples in terms of fear of being hit by a car. The car companies have used marketing to create a public phobia of being out without your protective shell.

It's really ingenious (devious) marketing. All animals have an innate fear of being attacked for obvious reasons. The auto companies have drilled it into every American's head from early childhood that if you go anywhere without your protective shell, YOU WILL BE KILLED. Worse, you need the biggest, heaviest shell that you can buy, or someone with a bigger, heavier shell will crush you. "High and Mighty" did a good job discussing this.

Another example: new european standards require that car hoods crumple or lift to help protect pedestrians in a crash. American car companies have so far refused to consider such measures. It serves their purposes for conditions to be seen as dangerous for pedestrians.

Some of us have awakened to the Metal Theater as joe calls it.

Read this one it's really good.

Madmen and Sedatives: Inside the Iron Theater

Nobody talks about it out loud, but a few million Americans are seriously doubting their sanity these days. Or having their sanity doubted. Or both. They seldom speak their minds because what is going on in there is a vision of society that conjures grave doubt, if not outright horror. It is the kind of stuff that will get your ass kicked off the island in a heartbeat. Nobody wants to hear it.

Yesterday I was gridlocked with my wife in traffic near the new mall, surrounded by cars full of monsters. Every redneck face and bloated or coifed middle class head in every vehicle was a grotesque, awful thing. In them you could see the meanest kind of white man ignorance, or smug middle class obliviousness, the kind that could care less if all the babies in Iraq were fried on spits in the Green Zone of Baghdad, so long as their nails get done on Saturdays. (Ah, you've seen the monsters too, haven't you!) There was that fleshy, overweight killer ugliness America seems to produce these day, the faces of a happy motoring people whose armies hold the world at gunpoint so they can stuff down pizza and check out this town's newest mall. Underneath the ugliness, there's a festering mean streak caused by frustration of knowing deep-down that government and commerce are corrupt -- everybody knows this, but tolerates it for fear of losing their bling. The choice was ever thus (de Tocqueville noted its beginnings) but now has become a waking nightmare. One that brings up rage for some if us, rage that, if expressed in the wrong places and too often will get me thrown into the psyche ward if I tarry too much longer here in the land of the free.


That's how I felt until I checked out--I thought I was losing my marbles. I was surrounded by greed, dishonesty, and unchecked aggression at work. On the roads, there was more unchecked aggression. Even inside my McMansion, I could still hear the traffic, loud motorcycles and Honda Accords with 3" exhausts, construction noise, etc. It was rush to this, rush to that, try to get some sleep with my brain doing somersaults, to-do lists that only got longer, no time for the people/things that mattered--I hated it. It just seems so weird.

-I know people who on a perfectly beautiful day will circle a parking lot for 10 minutes looking for a spot that's 50 feet closer when they're going into a mall where they'll be walking a mile.

It's a joke at the Olympics that Americans are good at the footraces only up to about 400 meters because that is the farthest they ever have to walk anywhere.

A good point to jump in to the sort of thing which intensely interests me - as most Americans seem unable to even begin to discuss about how their lives are structured. And how those structures are likely to fracture.

Though my last experience of Canada is 15 years ago, and most of that experience was in relatively mild Nova Scotia, it was interesting to see that Nova Scotians, at least, had no problems with walking - the scale of the cities and towns was still walkable, people would consider the effort of driving against the pleasure of walking, even it was often damp, and though you would be offered rides often enough, no one thought it strange to be told that the walking was the idea, and thanks for the offer. (Though the one time I was stranded walking/hitchhiking for two days in the rain without anyone stopping was one of the few times I have hated car drivers with a passion - not that there were that many of them, admittedly. And as was explained to me a few years later - I still didn't own a car then - a soaking wet passenger is really not desirable - which is true enough.)

And nothing built in America since sometime in the 1970s (thus, planned in the 1960s, most likely) that I am familiar with is able to include walking in any intelligent fashion. On the other hand, the science of traffic patterns in retail environments is very developed, and Disney's handling of walking is almost frightening in an Orwellian fashion for its omnipresence of design and maintenance.

Everything is based on the car, and public space which is not commercial no longer seems to exist, outside of some traditional bastions in older cities such as New York, San Francisco, Washington, or Boston (though the security arrangements being accepted by most Americans as now desirable severely restrict that idea of 'public space').

I have my own personal list of how insane America is, but not for now. On the other hand, this inability for people to walk strikes every German who I have talked to with experience of America, and in the end, it remains as mysterious as ever to both of us.

It is one of the reasons for my belief in America fracturing - at this point, the primacy of the car will remain anchored, even as reality intrudes. But who cares if the poor or 'urban' can't drive? If you are successful, one of the basic markers of that status will be a car, and losers are nothing anyways in the American scheme of things.

This chain of reasoning seems as unbreakable as it does insane.

Which is why I hammer on infrastructure - Europe, for example, is not the U.S. The fact that America is lost in its dream isn't quite the same as saying everyone else is chasing it too.

The French and the Germans reduced vehicle fuel use ca 3% post-Katrina. And it appears that this decline has not reversed, though getting accurate figures is harder now, as the sense of crisis has passed. demand for fuel is not utterly inelastic here, as it seems to be in America, at least since ca 1980.

This is the sort of fact (or observation) that makes me view America separately from much of the rest of the industrialized world.

And it seems deeply connected to another aspect of America - it is uniquely averse to walking for ANY reason. And is uniquely incompetent in ensuring that people who want to walk or ride a bicycle have equal status with those who drive. Among the shocking things I love to explain about America is how a law abiding car driver can just run someone over, then politely pull over, inform and wait for the police, and after such formalities as ID and insurance have been covered, and if they were not speeding or drinking, simply drive away again, without even a ticket. In Germany, killing someone on foot or on a bicycle with a car is considered a grave matter, even if in the end you were not guilty of manslaughter.

Walking IS unAmerican - and these days, that about sums up everything that post-peak living will entail. So in response, America will likely die defending its impossible way of life, dragging down many other people along with it.

And no one else will understand it - the same way that very few today can grasp the Nazi madness that struggled to its bitter death while retreating deeper into its fantasies of purity and mastery over its inferiors.

Arguably, America will be described in the future as the first profit-oriented, self-enforcing totalitarian state in history, and one which died because its society required that self-enforcement to function within its self-defined boundaries.

This sort of unknowing but omnipresent consensus is frightening to anyone who is not part of it, much less who disagrees with it, which becomes another mechanism of enforcement, after all.

It is deeply fascinating, as well as frightening in terms of creating even simple changes in a society.

In the end, while possibly not beyond my understanding, it is certainly beyond any possibility for me to influence in American terms. So I gave up and left, which is equally unAmerican. So much for Hollywood scripts.

Solar Dude and Phineas Gage gave opposite sounding responses to this note, but I think there is truth in both of them.

Phineas Gage noted all the wasteful ways we Americans use the automobile, while we ought to just walk. It's absolutely true, and behavior that needs to change.

Solar Dude says to the idea of reducing our gas consumption to European levels: "sorry, we can't." He's right also. Geography dominates the reason why - things are just too far apart. The drive from Paris to Berlin is shorter than the drive from Houston Texas to El Paso Texas. Australia is another example of a large country geographically, and they use more oil per capita than the U.S., I believe. Also, we could have constructed our cities in a more compact manner, but most of them sprawl in a way that for most people makes a car a requirement.

I think the reality is that the U.S. could cut well back on its gas consumption. Why should anyone drive three blocks to the gym? But cutting to European levels can't really be done. Of course, peak oil may do it for us, but that would mean a big hit to the quality of life in the U.S.

Not to minimize in any way the seriousness of the problem, but in an ironic way that fact that we do drive so far and so wastefully represents more opportunity for savings that can be made. What portion of vehicles on those TX roads or elsewhere are 14 - 16 mpg or less trucks/SUV's. Take the same trip in a Prius and you have cut gasoline use by two-thirds, with no real change in lifestyle yet. Carpool or eliminate a trip and savings go much further. I do think people will make this change once they have to, and this will also lead to a change in the social mores about walking and reduced energy consumption - I've seen it. As one example CA reduced electrical consumption 10% over just a few weeks during the energy crisis through mostly invisible changes, and could have gone much further if really necessary. In the 70's people started riding bikes more and positively valuing smaller, efficient vehicles instead of monsters.

As long as pressure keeps up and energy problems stay somewhat ahead of solutions we will avoid Jevons paradox. We're mainly in trouble if we conserve so well or the economy crashes so far that we think the problem has gone away.

Here is another difference - most people I know in Germany would think driving to Paris from Berlin as anything but customary. Taking the train, or flying, or even making a bicycle trip over a couple of weeks of vacation would likely rate roughly equivalent (assuming they had the need to anyways), and apart from the bicycle, be weighed in terms of time, cost, and effort. Most likely, if visiting friends that lived within or around Paris, they would choose the plane or train - especially with the ferociously high tolls of France's private built highway system.

Oh, nobody mentioned that the tolls while driving on highways in France can easily equal the cost of fuel? Geography is not the only reason that Europeans drive less, and Europeans are much more accustomed to weighing costs and benefits over a much broader scale - whether it be of time or of people. Driving is still seen as a conscious choice, thus no reason to neglect those who choose not to drive. There are likely more non-drivers in this village of 5,000 or so than all the known non-drivers I met in my entire life in the U.S. That too was something that struck me in Germany in 1982 - not everyone drove, or even thought driving worth their time or money in any sense.

'But cutting to European levels can't really be done.' Yes it can - it is just that very few living in the U.S. want to, since it means living differently.

Change is coming, and in American eyes, it will be nothing short of an involuntary catastrophe. Many other societies are likely to have a much harsher judgment of what went wrong, however.

Pre-Katrina, 28% of the households in New Orleans did not have a car. In the large old house where I live (cut into 5, now 6 apartments (see the future USA), I was the only one with a car (one retired, one bicycled to work, one worked at home as an artist, one took public transis). I burned about 6 gallons/month in my 1982 M-B 240D. So our building averaged 1.2 gallons/adult/month in direct oil use and I was the guilty party !

Best Hopes,


PS: We were in a statistical tie with NYC for fewest miles driven by residents (excluding suburbsnites driving into the city). I would argue that our quality of life was better than NYC. It is certainly more human scale.


The last global oil war (WW II) ended with the destruction of Europe and two nuclear bombs going off in Japan. How much worse do you think this one will end when you factor in the fact we are now in decline?

That's why I can't help but to let out a macabe laugh when Stuart says "for every Hitler there is a Roosevelt." Great, that means a future American president (maybe Guiliani?) will deal with the oil war by interning Americans and then launching nuclear bombs at the "enemy." (or letting his successor do it.)

The difference between now and then being that the energy situation is more desperate today than it was in the 1940s when we were still 25 years from even just discoveries peaking. As the situation is much more desperate (decline instead of upslope) the actions of our leaders will likely become increasingly desperate.

Two nuclear bombs ended Global Oil War II. How many will it take to end Global Oil War III?

Hi Chimp,

Thanks for pointing out the dangers of global conflict.

re: "The difference between now and then being that the energy situation is more desperate today."

I'm not sure that this would all add up - trying to contrast the two eras. One would have to get more specific, perhaps. For example, there was increasing supply to fuel innovation. OTOH, now that innovation is in place. We've had 50 or 60 yrs of the "military-industrial complex" and mega-corps selling many weapons. ("The only empire in history to arm its colonies..." Chalmers Johnson, I believe?)

At the same time, there are 10s of thousands of international human rights orgs, and international cooperation and peace groups of all kinds. Women, etc. You name it. And...as I tried to say in a post probably no one saw (which may be the case w. this one)...many groups working very hard to prevent nuclear war. www.psr.org, www.idds.org, www.fas.org - to name just a few. In other words, lots of people (if not Bush and Co) are very aware of the dangers, and wish to avoid them, and promote peace.

There's also much controversy about whether nukes actually were the end of WWII, in the sense of...being what caused the end. I'd find the reference, but I'd lose my place. In fact, I think it's generally considered to be the case that this recent book by an historian of that era pretty much resolves that notion.

there are 10s of thousands of international human rights orgs, and international cooperation and peace groups of all kinds. Women, etc. You name it.

In other words, lots of people (if not Bush and Co) are very aware of the dangers, and wish to avoid them, and promote peace.


Follow the money:

How much is being spent on weapons?

How much is being spent on peace?

My guess is $1000 to $1 if not $100,000 or $100,000,000 to $1. The arc of where this ratio is taking us should be as obvious as it is grim. I do understand the need not to see this arc clearly because once you do you are likely to become horribly depressed and unable to advocate whatever agenda you have. (at least most do and this includes agendas I'm sympathetic too.)

FAS and PSR and IDDS and every other peace group in the entire world - if they were worth two shits combined together - we would not be in the situation we're in. For one thing, there wouldn't be a 1,000,000 dead Iraqis in the first 4 years of Oil War III if these groups were worth the breath it takes to even mention them.

Even if WWII was not ended by the BOMB, two of them were used at the end of the war. That was my point, not whether it was necessary from a military standpoint. Necessary or not, you had a global oil war that ended with a regional nuclear holocaust in Asia and Europe shattered to pieces. Hard to bleieve the current global oil war won't end similarly but on an international scale as we are likely to be much more violent on the downslope than we we're on the upslope.


A lot of money is invested in new global trade and much of those trade relations and expensive investments would be destroyed by large scale warfare. Not all big money promote warfare, very large sums are invested in businesses that promotes peace or at least undisturbed world trade.

In regards to the warming for other planets in the solar system, it has managed to introduce some curiosity in my mind. I've always subscribed to the theory of human-influenced global warming, but the recent data in regards to other planets warming up has caused me to ponder that we may not pose as much of an influence on GW as I originally thought.

However, I still believe that whether or not we have any influence on the climate is moot. In any case, the burning of fossil fuels should be minimized and eventually eliminated, relegating the use of oil as a raw material instead of a fuel. (Use it for making plastics, etc.) Using a finite material for fuel when there are infinite quantities of fuel available in the form of solar and wind energy is juvenile at best.

By cutting out things like whole-house A/C, each home could easily generate all the power it needs via solar and wind power if advanced conservation takes place. My home is fairly efficient right now, but it's not what I really want. Within a year's time I will have purchased land about 200 miles north of where I currently live, and begin construction of my new home which the first priority in it's engineering will be energy efficiency.

The saddest thing when I attempt to educate family/friends on Peak Oil is that they simply believe it's all an oil company conspiracy in order to generate increased revenue. Sure, they can buy that it's a CONSPIRACY between oil companies, but they can't buy that it's GEOLOGY? WTF?! I can show them graphs from TOD, I can show them history, all the evidence that I've been presented here on TOD, and all to no avail. Sadly, when the SHTF, they'll come trying to crash MY party since I was prepared. *shakes head*


I used to be a "by man" believer. Its when the theory of the Atlantic conveyor shutting down (Gulf Stream) made its way into the public awareness that I started to examine it the GW theories from other points of view for my own benefit.

I will ask you to consider this also in questioning what is really happening, and "could" happen.

Yes data shows that planets and large moons/used to be a planet etc., are also warming. Remember the headlines "Mars under global warming" a few years back. Not talked about much these days.

Pluto moving away from the sun in its orbit is "warming" according to data.

Take a look at a map showing where the ice has disappeared. There is one common factor. Its sea ice melting. The land area melting is next to the sea or is in a wind pattern from sea direction.

The land snow/ice area in Antarctica is thickening. Its not shrinking.

Peer Review. Peer review for climate change is not what Peer review used to be. Its reviewed inside a group of people that already believe in its validity. Outside sources that may disagree with the premise are not allowed to comment. This has been reported, and commented on, but again, media is not interested.

as an anecdote. A team of ladies set out on a symbolic crossing of an arctic area this year. There purpose, to point out the dangers of Global warming and document what they saw. They had to be rescued. It was way to cold for them. They were frostbitten and couldn't go on. The temperatures they encountered were way below what they had anticipated. Of course the statement from the by man side said. "well with global warming there will be upsets in the pattern. Huh huh. global warming means intense way below normal cold where you said it was going to be warming.

The seas are warming. Consider this. The seas at the deepest part of the ocean are warming. This is something that is totally ignored and one has to wonder why.

The water at the deepest depths they can dive is WARMING. So far 9000 feet. This was detected first by using Navy submarine records from WWII and on. It was noticed and confirmed by a research ship by a Japanese team around 2000 (from memory). Now a new sub went down to 9000 feet in the last few months. Guess what they found "to their surprise". THe water was much warmer than they expected.

To put this into perspective. Water this deep should be a certain temperature and it shouldn't warm at all. So dark, so deep its been constant since they started taking records, now its warming. The challenge is to explain why. Now I ask this of every global warming by man to explain it and use it from a surface source. Not going to happen.

The by man point to but claim that H2O is a result of the CO2. Prove that. Water is in the atmosphere at a much larger rate than CO2. It has a larger capacity to hold heat than water. Notice any stories about all the floods, major snow dumps the last few years. All signs of heavy moisture content. Seas warming from the deepest depths, and heat rises. Sea ice is melting. (and the effect of the conveyors shut downs is not in Al Gores linear scenario).

I am not saying that I approve of the ways the CO2 and our society is a consumerism throw away, burn it up, cornucopian, much to the contrary. I see where GW by man doesn't do what they claim to the effect they say.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

This article might be of related interest:

Yes, the Ocean Has Warmed; No, It’s Not ‘Global Warming’



"Yes, the Ocean Has Warmed; No, It's Not 'Global Warming'" at:

Check out the front page:

It appears to be a Lyndon LaRouche website, a distinctly unreliable source.

"Authentic learning ends where faith begins."

There's no telling which predictions will be borne out or not. The women in Canada could have easily frozen to death, and it wouldn't be a vote against the likelihood of Climate Change.

'Global Warming' is probably a misnomer, as the Naming of the IPCC would indicate.. Even 'Change' might be a little off, since some of the potential Chaotic scenarios we should be using this warning to prepare for include Drought and Famine, if the fresh water supply or maybe the wrong couple species of Honeybees can't make it through the changes, or simply far more intense Summers or Winters, or perhaps a couple decades of uninterupted Cloud Cover, where no crops would grow. Who knows?

The point is, maybe some predictors are wrong, certainly all will be by degrees.. but to take that as an invitation to just say Ha! Wrong!, as with Peak Oil, is to miss the point. Both of these potential crises are areas we know we could be preparing for what might be far worse living conditions, and also where we can see that we know we need to make improvements just to be doing the best we can at present not to make matters even worse. (IE, if you see you are in a hole, stop digging)

Bob Fiske

Ad Astra per Alia Porci

Glad to meet you PrisonerX! I totally agree with you that there is a hefty amount of disinformation going on around the issue of GW, GCC (global climate change) and a slew of other related enviro-disasters.

You might remember also the story a few weeks back about the "hole" in the ocean? An area several square miles where water met the raw heat of the core of the Earth was discovered.

How many more of these are down there? Does it have anything to do with the increasing frequency and intensity of earthquakes? Is it linked with greater amounts of precipitations? Does it link back to the sun?

Now, if we could only focus on real threats like dioxins, emission of pollutants by cars and trucks, heavy metal accumulations and other exotic chemicals that are strewn in our cities...

Nah, better to fear PO and GW!

Eh bitte?

''You might remember also the story a few weeks back about the "hole" in the ocean? An area several square miles where water met the raw heat of the core of the Earth was discovered.

How many more of these are down there? Does it have anything to do with the increasing frequency and intensity of earthquakes? Is it linked with greater amounts of precipitations? Does it link back to the sun?''


1. what hole: Oceanic water routinley meets the heat of the Mantle (not core). Check out Iceland... Except on Dec 24 when they eat cured fish that smells of wee-wee. Type Constructive Margins into Wiki or Google or some such place.

2. what increase in frequency and intensity of earthquakes?
-The earth is relatvely quiescent at the moment: That may actually be part of the problem... Planet Earth could do with a few volcanic blow offs from some destructive margins...

3. what increase in precipitations? - drought seems to be last and this years fashion statement.

Thar's peridotite (mantle) down thar!

More about bee collapse.

Are GM Crops Killing Bees?
By Gunther Latsch

A mysterious decimation of bee populations has German beekeepers worried, while a similar phenomenon in the United States is gradually assuming catastrophic proportions. The consequences for agriculture and the economy could be enormous.

For what it is worth, my hives all made it through the winter. Every one of 'em.

They don't get moved and they service non GMed crops.

Other bee-ing


Bless your Bees, Eric!

That issue has me really unnerved!

"Half a bee, philosophically,
Must, ipso facto, half not be.
But half the bee has got to be
Vis a vis, its entity. D'you see?

But can a bee be said to be
Or not to be an entire bee
When half the bee is not a bee
Due to some ancient injury?

A B C, 1 2 3,
It's Eric the Half - a - Bee !!

Bob, the Flying Pig..

That issue has me really unnerved!

As well it should. The bee death over mites, fungi or changing magenig fields/heat is one thing - HFCS and GM pollen is another

I've been telling my mates that I went out last night, kicked a few boxes loose so I could get inside 'em and found a mess of angry females, all looking to jab me with their poisonous barbs.

(and I just might be the 'winner' of the bee EQ of a gent who's getting out of the bee biz. We'll see what he wants for all the bee-stuff.)

(edit -forgot to note...Iran takes a page from Hezbollah's Play Book from last summer...)

Iran nabs British sailors in Iraq waters

LONDON - Iranian naval vessels seized 15 British sailors who had boarded a ship suspected of smuggling cars in the Persian Gulf off the Iraqi coast on Friday, officials said.

The British government demanded "the immediate and safe return of our people and equipment."

Iran's leader vows to retaliate against any new sanctions

If the U.N. 'takes illegal actions, we will take illegal measures too,' Khamenei says.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a televised address marking the beginning of Nowruz, the Persian New Year, said Iran would respond in kind to punitive measures and he blamed the country's domestic divisions on foreign powers.

"If they want to threaten us and use force and violence, they should have no doubt that Iranians will use any means necessary to strike a blow against those who assault them," Khamenei, Iran's spiritual, political and military chief, said from the northeastern city of Mashhad, his hometown.

Ayatollah Khamenei did not elaborate on what he meant.

...spiraling 'round the bowl...

Perhaps you should read the news in Europe. Several senior Iranians have recently been kidnapped in Places like Turkey. In Iraq, the US Army has grabbed several Iranians who were working at a Consulate.

It would seem to me likely that the Iranians need "currency" in order to get their own people back.

Take a look at these articles:

Jerusalem Post


The British government demanded "the immediate and safe return of our people and equipment."

And were informed that Government offices were closed as this is a holiday and they would need to call back on Monday. :)

I'd like to know what those Brits were up to, but I guess we'll never know. They were aware they were diddling on the border between Iran and Iraq waters, that's for sure. And raiding Iranian ships. We have no media left here that can be relied on to provide accurate information.

Story is interesting for what it doesn't say. For example, it doesn't say what flag the boarded ship might have been. I'll guess Iranian. Nor is England claiming the Iranian ships were in Iraqi waters - one would think that a way bigger issue than smuggled cars. I wonder what would have happened if it could have been documented that the Iranians went into Iraqi waters to capture Brits? Someone decided the case could not plausibly be made and didn't send the jets; it would have been a perfect Tonkin Gulf.

cfm in Gray, ME

What they don't show is exactly where they were. There is disputed territorial waters in there and that is probably where they were. Stopping and inspecting ships in there would have been a direct challenge to Iran. I believe the US calls these challenges "freedom of navigation" exercises.

Here is today's London Times

Again, the real details are missing like where exactly they were grabbed.

What is really ironic about all of this is that the Shah (Mohammad Reza) "renegotiated" the exact border in Shatt-el-Arab with Saddam so that the Iranians got much more than they had previously. This was done by threatening Iraq militarily. Of course, the West was fully on Iran's side at the time. I guess it is now payback time.

In the "Telegraph" there was an article initially saying that the freighter that was boarded was carrying "smuggled cars". Presumably cars being smuggled into Iran. The arrogance of the Royal Navy and the MSM is trully staggering. It is not part of the Royal Navy's mandate to patrol Iran's shores to prevent smuggling into that country.

At what point do higher oil prices curb consumption? Will increasingly higher oil prices reduce demand sufficiently to coincide with reduced oil production, paving the way for cost effective alternatives to pick up the slack?

If you figure out an answer to that one, by all means post it here. Just about everybody wants to know.

If I thought I knew the answer, I would not have raised the question. Does seem logical, price increase = reduced consumption. When the peak is realized, all of us will find creative ways of doing more with less energy.

I seem to be having trouble getting the large images to download from the oil drum for the last few days (particularly the ain_dar_cross_sections_locations.jpg Stuart posted yesterday.

I wonder if that file is horked, and is contributing to the server slowness ?

Global peak: 2007 - 2010
Global decline rate, Post peak: 2%
Economic response: Severe global recession, ~5 years, then slow recovery

The TOD word of the day is horked. Had to look it up.

That and another image that Stuart posted are rather large (both over .5 Mbytes). They both seem to load normally, so it might be related to the way the web server manages the packet transfers.

One suggestion would be for folks to post images like that (or all images) elsewhere on Flickr or something to lighten the server load.

When I was a kid during the '70s (in southern Ontario) it meant ... hey I just found it in a official source:

hork (v)

2. The summoning of phlegm, in preparation for spitting.

"John horked up a loogie and spit it at Jessica."


I think he meant bØrked.

I always thought hork was a verb, as well.

The energyandcapital.com piece is well worth the read, but it has a major flaw that is important to get straight:

"Now add the fact that nearly all of the mammoth oilfields have already entered depletion"

My point: depletion sets in when you draw the first drop of oil from a field.

I think the word they are looking for is "decline"

Yes the epithets lobbed at RR are really bad. I just read the HL thread and posted something general..anyway I won’t quote myself, something different:

Global Warming Response — Markets or Taxes? Time for a carbon tax? link

It seems to me that taxing, or requiring ‘dollar’ payment for, sins of commission, such as performing certain acts harmful to others (e.g. speeding, petty theft, destroying property...) is not a good idea. Switzerland, for example, has just changed penal law, the upshot is that shortish prison sentences for things like those mentioned can, and will, now be paid for, not in ‘fines’ but in ‘buying back prison days’, the sum due is adjusted to the person’s income and wealth. (Prison has been shown to be ineffective and harmful for such crimes, and the state prefers to cash in rather than pay out the tremendous sums required to keep people locked up.) Easy to intuit all the arguments pro and con one can make.

Producing carbon, though, falls in that category? Or not? Probably not.

Should I pay a carbon tax when I take the plane to Paris (I do, and the money is sent for a large part to the Global Funds, fighting Aids and malaria) Should I pay a carbon tax when my home is heated with heating fuel, and I have no power to change that state of affairs? (I will soon pay it.)

Should company X pay a carbon tax, and either raise the prices for its products or fold because the tax is crippling? As compared to company Y that produces no carbon but uses slave labor?

Or should we see the production of carbon more like a tax on consumption, which exists practically in all OECD countries, for. ex. thru differentiated VAT, car tax in function of horsepower, tax on luxury items such as swimming pools or cognac, etc. I think not, because these kinds of taxes’ intent is at heart simply redistributive, taking from the rich to give to the poor. The older habit was simply to forbid what was nefarious, not to tax, such as air conditioning where I live, or logging certain trees in the rainforest, etc.

Or is it payment for ‘collateral damage’? Company X does ‘good’ but creates despite itself problems in the long term, so should then pay what is usually called ‘compensation’ or ‘damages’, ...a reparatory spirit is quite clearly present, as in Chirac taxing air trips to (ostensibly!) save African children from Aids.

Can such taxation work? Are we not spinning off into la-la land?

Puzzled. Confused. ...

The theory behind taxing carbon production is to use economic forces to implement GW mitigation strategies. The advantage of using economic forces is that there is a much higher chance that you will get the outcome you want - other policies like "banning" carbon production will only create a black market for carbon-intensive activities. Think about the US experience with "prohibition" where alcohol was banned, or the War on Drugs - both arugably _increased_ usage of the substance that they banned, and required enormous expenses to try to enforce the ban.

If you make economic activities that generate carbon more expensive than ones that don't, companies will "automatically" shift their strategies to adopt less carbon-intensive, because they will be more efficient/profitable.

It actually _does_ make sense, and should be effective

Global peak: 2007 - 2010
Global decline rate, Post peak: 2%
Economic response: Severe global recession, ~5 years, then slow recovery

A big difference between alcohol prohibition and rationing gasoline, is that people can make their own alcoholic beverages, and even drugs like marijuana. and other drugs are very compact, so they are easily transported secretly. But oil/gasoline are very centrally produced. so a government-controlled rationing system would work much better You can still get some black marketeering, as we had in the Second world War, but rationing was still very effective. And relatively fair, as I personally remember.

Hi oldcommie,

So, do you think this would work better than other proposals I've seen floated here, such as carbon tax, gasoline tax, carbon consumption tax (haven't understood all the details of how these might work out)...and...do you think this could be done now? And if so, how would you do it? Gasoline only? How do you ration oil?

I still don't think it's fair that these guys have access to better drugs than I do.

Yergin predicts 2015 oil production wlll be 105 mbd

Canada has been ranked fifth in a new global oil grouping unveiled Thursday by an independent energy analyst in testimony in Washington to the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Called Oil-15, or O-15, the new order put together by Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, includes all OPEC states — barring Indonesia — and includes five others that have the highest potential to increase supplies by 2015. Besides Canada, they are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Brazil and Russia. The group is projected to produce 72.7 million barrels per day, or 69 per cent of total global oil output.

“It is a straight forward grouping of producers that are planning major investments and do not necessarily have a political agenda,” Guy Caruso, administrator of Washington-based watchdog Energy Information Administration, said in an interview.

Saudi Arabia was ranked No. 1. Its output was forecast by Cambridge to grow to 14.3 million barrels per day from 2005 output of 12.7 million bpd. Russia was in the No. 2 spot, and was forecasted to see production grow to 11.5 million bpd from 9.6 million. Iran was No. 3, with output forecast to grow to 4.3 million bpd from 5.7 million bpd, and Iraq No. 4, with output forecast to grow to 5.5 million from 2.6 million.

Next came Canada, with production forecast to grow to 5.3 million bpd by 2015 from 3.5 million bpd in 2005.

Wasn't it Guy Caruso the fellow that wrote the Swift Boat

"Iran was No. 3, with output forecast to grow to 4.3 million bpd from 5.7 million bpd..."

uhhhhhhh, what? how is 5.7 to 4.3 considered growth? typo? really good drugs?

so not fair

--Energy Sector Roadmap Launched
(March 6, 2007)
US Department of Energy's Office of Electricity and Energy Reliability launched a web-based, interactive Roadmap at the Process Control Systems Forum on March 6. The ieRoadmap (interactive energy Roadmap), is a web-based tool designed to accelerate stakeholder collaboration and track progress in implementing secure control systems in the Energy Sector. Building on the Wikipedia concept, this on-line resource provides an easily accessible mechanism for collecting and sharinginformation on current projects that support the Energy Sector Roadmap. By matching current activities to priority needs, this tool makes it easier to spot gaps in coverage and identify opportunities for leveraging resources. The site is accessible through

re: supply elasticity of oil production.
Price increases won't enable the industry to find oil that isn't out there, but the market will tend to push us in the direction of the best available solution. The boom in wind power is largely market driven. The boom in corn ethanol, however, which most on this board agree is not a good solution, is driven by government subsidies.
I think it was Simmons who said the true market price of gasoline would be $10/gallon if the companies had to provide their own security. That would stimulate the production of a lot of EV's, microcars and velomobiles. Will the market stimulate the production of something that maintains our standard of living as well as oil? Doubt it. It would only provide a theoretically optimum way to allocate scarce resources in a population with unlimited desires.

They're preparing for hurricane season...

New Orleans residents arming themselves

The number of permits issued to carry concealed weapons is running twice as high as it was before Katrina — this, in a city with only about half its pre-storm population of around 450,000.

A new Round-Up has been posted at TOD:Canada.

The NY Times on that mortgage thing:

Foreclosures Force Suburbs to Fight Blight

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — In a sign of the spreading economic fallout of mortgage foreclosures, several suburbs of Cleveland, one of the nation’s hardest-hit cities, are spending millions of dollars to maintain vacant houses as they try to contain blight and real-estate panic.

In suburbs like this one, officials are installing alarms, fixing broken windows and mowing lawns at the vacant houses in hopes of preventing a snowball effect, in which surrounding property values suffer and worried neighbors move away. The officials are also working with financially troubled homeowners to renegotiate debts or, when eviction is unavoidable, to find apartments.

“It’s a tragedy and it’s just beginning,” Mayor Judith H. Rawson of Shaker Heights, a mostly affluent suburb, said of the evictions and vacancies, a problem fueled by a rapid increase in high-interest, subprime loans.

A really good overview of the markets from MarketWatch.

Will 'lemming loans' drive economy off the cliff?

In mortgage market's next big blowup, many Americans face losing their home

For the first time in the nation's history, a significant number of Americans are being threatened with the loss of their home even though they still have a steady, good-paying job.

It's not just an issue for people with poor credit, those with subprime loans. It also affects people with good enough credit to qualify for a prime loan. Known as Alt-A mortgages, these loans were written for 1 in 5 U.S. mortgages and could have a big impact on the economy and on credit markets -- bigger, perhaps, than the effects of the recent shockwaves buffeting the subprime-lender market, economists say.

In coming months and years, the credit crunch that's now squeezing mainly the poor is likely to hit millions of middle-class homeowners who took out risky loans during the great housing boom earlier in the decade. More than 1 million families will lose their homes in the next few years, by one estimate. Another study predicts 2.2 million foreclosures.
This threat is new in American history. Its impact on the economy, and upon the American Dream, is uncertain.

In the past, homeowners have generally lost their home to foreclosure only when they suffered a major life-changing event, such as loss of their job, a major illness or death of a family member. A big jump in foreclosures was unheard of outside a recession that brought high unemployment.

But now, because of the recent popularity of loans geared to let people buy a more expensive home than they can truly afford, all it will take is the passage of time to trigger a default. At some point, all these loans are adjusted to switch from a low, subsidized monthly payment to the full amount required to pay off the loan.

In the not-too-distant future, millions of Americans may receive a letter advising them of their mortgage "reset" or "recast" with the same dread they now feel for a pink slip or for bad news from their oncologist. The only difference: They know (or should know, if they noticed what they were signing) exactly what's coming: An average monthly increase of $1,512 in their monthly mortgage payment.

Because this risk is so novel, experts don't have a clear grasp yet on how big of an impact the credit crunch might have on the economy. Most economists say the problems won't spread too far beyond the poor, and that the extent of the losses to families, mortgage underwriters and investors will be small in the context of a $13 trillion economy.

But others think the risks are widespread and that the economy could be hit hard by the failures in the credit market. It could take years to fully recover.

Well maybe they don't want to look.
This is the schedule.


If you're rich enough the city mowes your friggin lawn when you hit hard times. "Rich" might not be the right word, I don't know. It would be better to let the owners stay in the properties. But that would be the city challenging the banks. In this case the city is keeping them nice for the banks.

Good money after bad.

cfm in Gray, ME

Not sure if this has been posted yet...


The price of crude oil rose Wednesday after a U.S. government report showed a decline in gasoline supplies for a sixth straight week, and a rise in refinery operating rates.
Gasoline stockpiles declined 3.45 million barrels to 210.5 million in the week that ended March 16, the U.S. Energy Department reported. Refineries operated at 86.3 percent of capacity, up 0.7 percentage point from the previous week, the report showed.
"Despite the increase in refinery runs, gasoline supplies fell, which has to be a concern," said Jason Schenker, an economist at Wachovia in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Well it looks like the chance to see if oil peaked is going to be taken off the table by TPTB.


Its just a matter of time before this type of jousting results
in armed conflict.

Ya gotta know we'll be talking about this one for a while:

Global peak: 2007 - 2010
Global decline rate, Post peak: 2%
Economic response: Severe global recession, ~5 years, then slow recovery

That is the first time I have seen quantitative data attached to the argument that giant fields dominate oil production and that the discovery of giant fields is nearly over.

Good find!!

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

First, What would be the worlds reaction if Saudi Arabia has actually peaked? What would happen to the $USD ?

What would happen to the ruling princes in SA if everyone knew they were in decline? What country do you think they would "Visit" for an extended stay?

What do you think the motivational factor would be for the US/Saudi Arabia to "Prolong" them NOT Peaking?

With that in mind, Lets look at these stories.

From Leanan's story above.

Mystery of the Missing Meters:
Accounting for Iraq's Oil Revenue


Heavily armed soldiers spend their days at the oil terminals scanning the horizon looking for suicide bombers and stray fishing dhows (boats). Meanwhile, right under their noses, smugglers are suspected to be diverting an estimated billions of dollars worth of crude onto tankers because the oil metering system that is supposed monitor how much crude flows into and out of ABOT and KAAOT - has not worked since the March 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

A few days ago there was a story in Drumbeat about a pipeline coming online between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Halliburton did all the pipeworks right?

Officials blame the four-year delay in repairing the relatively simple system on "security problems." Others point to the failed efforts of the two U.S. companies hired to repair the southern oil fields, fix the two terminals, and the meters: Halliburton of Houston, Texas, and Parsons of Pasadena, California.

...Rumors are rife among suspicious Iraqis about the failure to measure the oil flow. "Iraq is the victim of the biggest robbery of its oil production in modern history," blazed a March 2006 headline in Azzaman, Iraq's most widely read newspaper. A May 2006 study of oil production and export figures by Platt's Oilgram News, an industry magazine, showed that up to $3 billion a year is unaccounted for.

After the 2003 invasion, the meters appear to have been turned off and there have since been no reliable estimates of how much crude has been shipped from the southern oil fields

When the US went into Bagdad, all buildings were unsecured(musuems, public works, etc) but NOT the ministry of Oil. That building was secured day 1.

I believe No oil gets missing in southern Iraq with out US/Halliburton/Blackwater knowing about it and being in on the take.

If Iraq went up or down in production a few 100k NO ONE would notice and not lift an eyeball.

How about if 300k - 1 mil barrels sort of disappeared, givin the about article's info, would you believe it? How about if those barrels found their way into some 33 million barrel storage facility somewhere?

Someone could report higher or lower production at their descression a little bit more often.
How long could say you were cutting back, but still have inventory rising for a few weeks/months.

I put forth the possiblity of US/SA gaming the system of production reporting with a slush fund of 100k - 1mil barrels per day.

SA could look good for a lot longer perhaps?

Did anyone see the article of the pipeline between Iraq/SA a day or so ago?

I think they have peaked.

Anyway, I'll take off my tinfoil hat. Just a wild idea.

You are so right.

Sanctions on Iraq and the Oil-for-food program had a similar effect and in fact institutionalized smuggling or ‘rogue’ selling of oil. Note that it was the US who given charge by the UN for policing smuggling of oil, as far as I recall; fact that was conveniently left aside in the UN ‘oil for food’ scandal - where some UN officials were made scapegoats. It was all very ironic, because quite a few people, from all over (to make it short) were condemned for breaking the ‘sanctions’ but the ‘Anglo’ MSM concentrated on those few UN figures, and mixed it all up, just to stir up distractive mud, with the doings of Kofi Annan’s son, Kojo, who is indeed a burgeoning baby mmm...let's just say difficult character. He has avoided imprisonment until now for matters non-oily, so I have to watch my words.

The US monitored smuggling, and tolerated it by land to neighboring countries, which was understandable; the borders couldn’t be policed, and doing it would have been catastrophic for all concerned; for the UN Sec. Council, the US, etc. I remember reading a congressional report (sorry no link) that basically concluded that stopping that kind of trade on the ground was dumb.

So, whatever the present state of affairs (murky) it has a long history... Exactly in whose interests are being served, and how, is another matter.

(thx for the responses about carbon tax.)